Recently I have been getting a lot of mail from mortgage brokers and small lenders complaining that they are no longer able to get funding for loans that previously were never questioned. One of them described it as a market meltdown. I promised to take a hard look. Fortunately, I have been developing a database on wholesale mortgage prices that lets me peer into the heart of the problem, if there is one. Wholesale prices are those that lenders quote to mortgage brokers and small lenders called "correspondents." My database covers 11 of the largest wholesale lenders, and because they account for a large share of what is an extremely competitive market, it is safe to assume that their prices are "the" wholesale market prices. While most price differences are small, in every case I take the...
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