Large mortgage lenders are growing increasingly pessimistic about their business and expect serious declines in mortgage loan volume and company profits, according to a recent industry study.

Mortech, an independent research project on mortgage technology, presented to its sponsors the results of this year’s study at the Mortgage Bankers Association Technology Conference last week in Phoenix.

“Our key measure of lenders’ perceptions of their business is what they expect the next 12 months to bring,” said Jeff Lebowitz, founder and principal of Mortech.

The “pessimism index” is at a five-year high, he added.

For more than 15 years MORTECH has studied what lenders want from their technology partners. The research provides a 360-degree view of the mortgage industry with input based on surveys of senior industry decision makers providing reliable, consistent data on the mortgage industry and lender segments.

Mortech details trends on the most important industry issues and helps vendors develop fact-based marketing strategy and implementation.

“Spending patterns of large lenders indicate a real dog-fight for business for the rest of the year,” said Lebowitz. “Everyone is searching for new production rather than focusing on profitability. The largest lenders are expanding wholesale production capacity in face of declining production. Everyone else is building retail branches. Business volume will drop, but spending on technology to capture loan volume will expand by almost eight percent this year.

Mortech was founded in 1988 by Jeff Lebowitz, former head of strategic planning for Fannie Mae and president of Fannie Mae Software Systems. The company is recognized by the mortgage industry for its relevance of input and analysis.

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