Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 2012 vs. The Consumer Confidence Influence

Southeast Mortgage is confirming the post-recession housing recovery is underway.  For those that usually take December off you found your phones ringing as a result of Real Estate Agent’s seeking financing for their clients and consumers looking to lower their current mortgage costs.  At first glance, you may think December 2011 was an aberration; however, January has continued the trend into 2012 with a steeper rise.

Historically mortgage volumes begin to trail off in December with a steady decline into mid-February.  This is the typical seasonality in the Georgia Mortgage industry with March – November being the busiest period and a peak between August and October.

Consumer confidence is the driver of the Mortgage and Real Estate industries.  Over the past 14 years, I have heard all kinds of opinions on what drives the mortgage industry; rates, programs, costs, advertising etc.  However, even sub 4% rates could not stimulate the recovery until the consumer was ready.  The most important revelation of my past three recessions is consumer confidence drives economic growth and mortgage demand as long as you give your client great service and value.  Consumer Confidence is derived from job growth, stable inflation, and a general belief future need will be supported by the growing economy. 
Consumer confidence was 60.6 in January 2011 and rose to 75 in January 2012.  This 24% rise is directly in line with 2011 closed loan growth with no additional stimulus such as advertising.  Without the mid 2011 events in Washington, our industry would have experienced a much higher growth in 2011.

What is interesting is the volumes have stabilized at a new higher level with consumer confidence.
Cal Haupt
President and Chief Executive Officer
Southeast Mortgage of Georgia, Inc.

Call: 770-279-0222                    Visit:

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