Six of the nation’s 10 largest independent mortgage brokers are headquartered in California and Arizona, and all are based west of the Mississippi, according to rankings published by the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME).

AIME’s Broker Rankings are based on loan production data from third-party data sources verified by MMI. The top 10 independent mortgage brokers, ranked by 2020 loan volume, were:

  1. C2 Financial (San Diego, California; licensed in 10 states): $10,568,086,977
  2. NEXA Mortgage (Chandler, Arizona; licensed in 47 states): $3,886,074,348
  3. Answer Home Loans (Granite Bay, California; licensed in California): $2,300,000,000
  4. Edge Home Finance (Edina, Minnesota; licensed in 15 states): $1,886,388,282
  5. Bayview Residential (Campbell, California; licensed in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington): $1,183,363,990
  6. Price Mortgage (Gilbert, Arizona; licensed in Arizona, California, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, and Texas): $927,127,417
  7. Simplify Home Loans LLC (American Fork, Utah; licensed in 17 states): $809,784,449
  8. Vertex Financial Group LLC (Highlands Ranch, Colorado; licensed in 12 states): $733,288,847
  9. Altius Mortgage (Draper, Utah): $650,918,883
  10. Lund Mortgage Team (Glendale, Arizona): $515,780,604

It’s the second year that AIME has published the national rankings to publicize mortgage brokers and help them grow their market share.

Motgage brokers fell out of favor after the 2007-2008 mortgage meltdown, as many traditional banks shut down their wholesale lending divisions. According to data compiled by CoreLogic, mortgage brokers saw their market share plummet from 32.1 percent in October 2007 to 5.9 percent in October 2011. Mortgage brokers have clawed back market share since then, surging past the 20 percent mark for the first time in over a decade in January 2021.

Mortgage broker market share, 2007-2021

Mortgage broker market share of conventional, conforming loans. Source: CoreLogic TrueStandings

“AIME is committed to acknowledging the great work that has been done by independent mortgage brokers the past year in expanding consumer access to homeownership,” said Katie Sweeney, CEO of AIME, in a statement. “We expect Broker Rankings to only become bigger with each passing year as the wholesale channel continues to grow with more originators and support staff joining the broker community.”

Independent nonbank mortgage lenders that do some or all of their business through mortgage brokers have also been taking market share from traditional banks like Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America and U.S. Bank.

According to the latest Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data, six of the nation’s 10 biggest mortgage lenders in 2020 were nonbanks: Rocket Mortgage, United Wholesale Mortgage, loanDepot, Freedom Mortgage, Caliber Home Loans and Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.

Email Matt Carter

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