Monthly Mortgage Market Share Archives

March 2019 Mortgage Market Share Report

April 17, 2019


Three things stand out to me after reviewing the recording statistics for the first quarter. First, none of us are as busy as we were six years ago, the last refi market. (chart page 7) Second, the purchase market is in its fourth consecutive year of steady volume. (chart page 13) Third, the lower price sector for non-residential property, mostly lots and land, is more active than last year. But property to be used as a primary residence is showing valuation increases. (charts pages 14 & 15)

With interest rates at 15 month lows, the second quarter is positioned to be remarkably similar to the last three years. I also noticed more vacant lot sales than in recent years. They’re mostly in Ellettsville or property platted some time ago.

After finally getting our internal reporting squared away, I am delighted to confirm what I was sure that I knew. Our team continues to do great work. In March we issued title commitments in four or fewer days from receiving the order 89% of the time. Our closing team provided seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing for 91% of our transactions. We helped 343 people buy, sell or refinance their properties.

May 7th will mark one year since we relocated to our new office. We truly enjoyed being able to focus solely on the title business this past winter. We improved our capabilities through training and fine tuning our internal workflow. I am proud of what we accomplished and you will be experiencing the benefits as we head into the spring home buying season.

Enjoy the warming (finally!) weather!


~ John Bethell

February 2019 Mortgage Market Share Report

March 13, 2019


February’s mortgage recordings held steady from January.  The market is now showing signs of warming up, both figuratively and weather-wise. Year to year comparisons tell a different story.

Mortgages securing between $50,000 and $500,000 are down about ten percent during the first two months of the year ─ 385 to 427 last year. February’s 30 year commitment rate for Freddie Mac was the lowest in 13 months, so it appears that interest rates are not a factor of the lower demand.

Monroe County deed recordings are down slightly ─ 263 to 276, almost five percent. Our own book of business shows cash deals holding steady at about one-third of all purchase transactions.

All of these indicators are consistent with national predictions that the market would be down slightly in the first. Those reports also predict a rebound in the second half of 2019 {{crossed fingers}}.  Our own order pipeline is showing a significant increase in expected closing over the next 45 days.

After April, making more accurate conclusions about the strength and direction of the market will be easier.

The Monroe County 2018 pay in 2019 taxes will be official March 23rd. We’ll begin using those new amounts for pro-rations that day. Our title team will be updating your outstanding orders throughout the next few weeks.

Enjoy the forthcoming spring!


~ John Bethell

Mortgage Market Share Report January 2019

February 14, 2019


As always, the number of January transactions is low making it impossible to draw any conclusions about the health or direction of the market. The Polar Vortex undoubtedly affected the number of new transactions.

Recorded mortgages were down about fourteen percent from a year ago. Deed recordings were down about seven percent. Our own book of business shows a significant increase in the percentage of cash deals when compared to January 2018. This is consistent with what the recording numbers show.

New taxes will be showing up most likely before our next report. We will notify you when the new rates are official.

Last month our title team’s average production time for new Monroe County commitments was 3.8 business days. Our closing team is also doing well. Some internal changes are making the collecting of their data more cumbersome. We’re trying to find a work around. Stay tuned.

I hope that 2019 is off to a great start for you!  Here’s wishing it will be your best year ever, so far!


~ John Bethell

End of 2018 Mortgage Market Share Report

January 21, 2019


After studying the 2018 full year recording numbers, I’ve concluded that the Monroe County sale and mortgage market remains steady without any discernable trends – either increasing or decreasing. (chart page 7). Sales disclosure data (charts pages 17 & 18) reflect the same level of consistency.

Given the continued shortage of homes on the market, the equilibrium between inventory and closings may be reassuring when projecting 2019 numbers. Assuming the inventory shortage remains, there’s a case to make that the number of transactions won’t decline. Perhaps there will only be fewer multiple offer situations. Or, a seller may need to wait a few days for an offer instead of a few hours.

Year to year fourth quarter mortgage recordings were lower (charts pages 8, 10 &11). That’s probably due to slightly higher interest rates resulting in fewer refinances. Our own book of business supports this hypothesis.

The number of new foreclosures filed increased in 2018 (chart page 20). They are however, significantly lower that during the great recession and remain in a historically normal range.

Thank you for allowing us to help you and your clients in 2018. We’re excited about 2019 and hope that you are too!


~ John Bethell

2018 December Mortgage Market Share Report

December 18, 201


To our valued customers:


I couldn’t be more grateful for the support of our friends and clients during 2018, one of our most successful years ever! We helped over 4500 people buy, sell and refinance their homes. That’s a lot of lives we impacted. Your trust in us is humbling.

Moving our company at the height of the spring home buying season is one of the most challenging endeavors that our team could undertake. In a more perfect world we would have chosen a different time of year to relocate. The world is rarely perfect. It turned out pretty well for us. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.

With the move behind us, I am happy to be back solely in the title business this winter. Our team is training and incorporating changes into our workflow. I’m confident that these changes will allow us to become even better and more consistent at what we do.

Thank you for the compliments you bestowed upon us this year. And equally important, thank you for the coaching you give us when we need to be better.

May your holiday season be filled with joy no matter how you celebrate it. And may 2019 be your best year ever!


~ John Bethell