The number of mortgage loan officers was up 4 percent during the first quarter from a year ago, to 394,775 as of March 31, according to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. States seeing the biggest increases were Delaware (28.8 percent), Florida (10.3 percent) and Nevada (7.9 percent). Arizona, Iowa and Oregon also saw increases of 7.7 percent.

As mortgage rates go up, the number of homeowners refinancing their home is expected to shrink. But some observers expect lenders will also compete more intensely for business from homebuyers.

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