United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), the Pontiac-based mortgage lender, has reported a net loss of $62.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. This reflects the overall softening of the US housing market due to the inflation-induced volatility of interest rates. Despite the loss, UWM remains the top mortgage lender in the US for the second consecutive quarter, with $25 billion in mortgage originations. The company’s CEO, Mat Ishbia, stated during the earnings call that UWM is “the strongest mortgage company in America, period.” He credited the company’s business model for mitigating further losses in a volatile market, citing UWM’s efficiencies and partnership with mortgage brokers.
UWM’s quarterly loss is in contrast to $325.6 million of net income in last year’s third quarter and $239.8 million of net income in the same period in 2021. However, despite the harsh environment for mortgage originations, Ishbia remains optimistic about the future, saying that a higher interest rate environment is where the best mortgage companies will separate themselves from the rest. He also stated that the company would continue to invest in technology and human capital, even as competitors cut investments and lay off thousands of employees.
UWM’s biggest rival, Rocket Companies, reported a net loss of $493 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 on $481 million in total revenue. Rocket Mortgage’s parent company Rocket Companies also saw a decrease in net income, with $700 million in 2022 compared to $6 billion in profit posted in 2021 and $9.4 billion in profit the previous year. Rocket Companies did, however, post $133.1 billion in mortgages for 2022, compared to UWM’s $127.3 billion.
Despite the challenges facing the housing market, UWM’s CEO remains bullish on the future, noting the strength of the broker channel for consumers and loan officers. He sees UWM’s partnership with mortgage brokers as a key advantage and believes the company’s business model will continue to perform well in a volatile market.