Outsiders Seek the Mortgage Banking ‘Trade’

DEC 5, 2012 12:27pm ET

As the year draws down some lenders are starting to wonder about the year ahead and few I’ve talked to feel sick about 2013. In short, they like their chances. Small nonbanks, of course, are concerned about higher net worth minimums coming out of the GSEs but so far there’s been more smoke than fire. Hedge funds and PE firms continue to analyze the industry, looking for a way to make a buck off mortgages. And yes there’s increasing interest from nontraditional players who realize that yes, mortgage servicing, rights are dirt cheap. MSRs may be a bargain compared to historic levels, but these outsiders don’t know how to get in on “the trade.” Or do they?