The Louisville Show exhibited the innovation and transition the industry is making in exterior design and interior features. But there is more going in factory-built housing than what you can see. I was fortunate to moderate a panel of lenders who shared some indication of what we might expect in 2024. All five panelists stated that their application volume was up year over year, as much as 20%. In addition, all expected rates to continue to decline (slightly) throughout the year. How much of a decrease is dependent upon the FED, but all anticipated a decrease. It is an election year and there will be pressure to reduce rates, albeit small.
In general, mortgage lenders are expected to navigate a volatile landscape shaped by various economic, technological, and regulatory factors. As the global economy continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, home/mortgage lenders are anticipated to face both challenges.
Leadership and strategic direction will be shaping lenders in the space as well. An example is Tammac Holdings Company (Tammac) who has been in the MH lending marketplace for almost 50 years, but only recently widened its potential impact with increased licensing and new aggressive leadership. Expanding from its traditional market of New England, Tammac is expanding into the South, Midwest and beyond, and providing the key people to develop strong relationships with its affiliated retail and community partners.
As mentioned one key expectation revolves around interest rates. The Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and broader economic conditions will play a crucial role in determining the direction of interest rates, even with manufactured housing lenders. Even though niche lenders source private funds, lenders are likely to monitor these factors closely, adjusting their strategies to accommodate potential rate fluctuations. Borrowers may experience shifts in mortgage rates, influencing decisions on home purchases and refinancing as a result.
Technological advancements are also expected to shape the mortgage lending industry in 2024, addresses by Jack Reid, from Zippy. All lenders are anticipated to further embrace digital transformation, streamlining processes and enhancing the overall customer experience. Online applications, digital verification tools, and artificial intelligence-driven underwriting processes are likely to become more prevalent, expediting loan approvals and reducing paperwork.
Regulatory changes will continue to impact the lending landscape. Lenders are expected to stay vigilant and adapt to evolving regulations governing lending practices, consumer protection, and data privacy. Compliance with these regulations will be crucial to maintaining a strong and trustworthy reputation in the industry.
Another notable expectation is the focus on sustainable and responsible lending practices. With growing awareness of environmental and social issues, mortgage lenders may explore initiatives to promote energy-efficient homes and support affordable housing projects, like Clayton’s new eBuild® homes. This reflects a broader trend in the financial industry towards incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into business strategies.
In summary, lenders in 2024 are poised to navigate a complex environment marked by economic shifts, technological innovations, regulatory developments, and a heightened focus on sustainability. Successful lenders are likely to be those who can adapt swiftly to these changes while prioritizing customer needs and maintaining compliance with evolving industry standards.