According to a chart by the Mortgage Bankers Association, in the first quarter of 2015, total quarterly production expenses averaged $7,195 per loan, 311 basis points, among independent mortgage bankers and bank subsidiaries.

“The higher-than-average production expenses in the first quarter - a quarter in which average production volume was at the second highest level since inception of the study in 2008 – suggests a fundamental shift toward higher costs associated with originating loans,” say analysts Marina Walsh and Jenny Masoud. “Compared to 2012, when origination volume was at a similarly high level, the first quarter 2015 average expense per loan was nearly $1,600 greater.”

Total production expenses include loan originator commissions, compensation for sales, fulfillment, post-closing and support staff, occupancy and equipment, technology, outsourcing and other miscellaneous expenses as well as corporate allocations.

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(Source: MBA)

Because total production expenses include fixed costs, higher production volume is expected to lead to lower expenses per loan.

The first quarter data is based on a sample of over 350 mortgage companies.