Rising mortgage rate graph on a blackboard lying on a wooden table


The mortgage origination market is likely one of the areas most straight affected by the now larger rates of interest. Pure-plays like Rocket Firms (RKT) are down round 40% whereas these like Wells Fargo (WFC) and Rithm Capital (NYSE:RITM) that solely have partial publicity are down a bit much less.

Graphical user interface, chart, line chart Description automatically generated

S&P International Market Intelligence

Many of the value declines within the area are basically justified, however I believe Rithm Capital has been unfairly caught within the crossfire. The portfolio weights particular to RITM make it largely proof against what has occurred with mortgages which locations the corporate in an opportunistic place to gobble up the market share vacated by rivals.

On January 10th, Wells Fargo announced plans to largely exit the mortgage origination enterprise with exception to present WFC clients. This, together with the shrinking of different mortgage originators, has introduced provide right down to be in steadiness with the now a lot decrease demand. Because the mortgage market recovers, RITM will likely be among the many greatest positioned to cut back up as a result of its comparatively higher monetary positioning and non-bank standing.

Let me start with an outline of the trade by way of what has occurred and the ahead outlook. We’ll then comply with with RITM’s particular positioning and its particular person outlook.

The Mortgage Business

For many years, the mortgage trade has benefitted from new mortgage purposes being closely supplemented by refinancing exercise. As charges dropped beneath the getting in fee of present mortgages, owners have been incented to refinance leading to large quantity and the charge revenue that comes with that.

Chart, line chart Description automatically generated


As rates of interest ticked up in latest quarters the other occurred. Now nearly all of mortgages are at charges decrease than the prevailing market fee. Not solely are refinances not inspired, however they’re actively averted as doing so dramatically will increase one’s carrying price. These with low-cost present mortgages are additionally much less prone to transfer so new mortgage origination quantity can be impaired.

As you may see within the chart beneath, refinance quantity (shaded) is inversely correlated with mortgage charges and has now hit by far its lowest stage in a long time.

Chart, line chart Description automatically generated


Mortgage origination is a profitable enterprise when it’s energetic. Every refinancing generates charge income for the originator, however it’s also a head-count intensive enterprise.

With the quantity largely shut off nearly all the trade is having to put off a considerable portion of its workforce. This cutting down has already been taking place repeatedly and helps provide of mortgage origination extra carefully match demand for mortgages. It additionally helps protect margins.

Wells Fargo is a reasonably huge participant so its full exit represents a relatively giant step down within the provide that has in any other case been declining extra easily.


Finally, the quantity of origination will rebound to its regular ranges no matter what occurs to rates of interest. Merely put, individuals want houses and most want mortgages to purchase a house. A decline in rates of interest would speed up the rebound, however I do see quantity normalization as an inevitability.

Timing of rebound

Volumes have already been depressed for a couple of 12 months. I think they continue to be low for 1 to three extra years relying on the trail of rates of interest.

Relative positioning inside trade

Mortgage pure-plays should endure an prolonged time frame by which revenues will likely be severely diminished. Value reducing measures will probably see most of them by, however that doesn’t repair the income declines. So whereas the trade broad demand declines are non permanent, the harm to earnings could be very actual.

Because of this, I believe the hybrids are significantly better off and Rithm Capital takes the cake as greatest positioned. It has 4 distinct benefits that I believe will result in important market share seize.

  1. Low general income focus in mortgage origination
  2. MSR portfolio worth beneficial properties totally hedged the rise in rates of interest
  3. Sturdy enterprise segments will maintain earnings flowing whereas it waits for the return of mortgage market
  4. Non-bank standing makes scaling again up a lot simpler

Rithm’s largest portfolio weight is in mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) and the earnings from this phase outweigh these from mortgage origination.

A picture containing chart Description automatically generated


In some ways it kinds an ideal hedge as a result of the identical enhance to rates of interest that damage originations triggered their MSR portfolio to considerably achieve in worth. The best way these work is that RITM buys the rights to service mortgages after which collects the servicing charge for the remaining length of the loans.

As refinancing charges declined, prepayment charges of those loans dropped from about 28% to eight%.

Chart Description automatically generated


This dramatically extends the lifetime of the servicing income inflicting every MSR bought earlier to ship way more complete revenue than initially anticipated. Reflecting this now longer life stream of revenues the market worth of MSRs rose considerably, greater than offsetting the hit to the remainder of RITM’s enterprise from larger rates of interest.

Consequently, RITM’s guide worth is definitely up reasonably in the course of the rising fee cycle.

Chart, bar chart Description automatically generated

S&P International Market Intelligence

That may be a substantial distinction between RITM and far of the mortgage trade which broadly skilled guide worth declines.

This places RITM in good monetary positioning relative to friends. Additionally it is nicely positioned to attend for the mortgage market to recuperate as it’s nonetheless producing wholesome revenues from its different segments. RITM’s curiosity revenue has elevated, partially from its actual property and mortgage backed securities portfolio.

Chart, bar chart Description automatically generated

S&P International Market Intelligence

I additionally discover its single household rental phase promising as RITM’s properties are nicely situated in areas with job development.

A picture containing diagram Description automatically generated


Since RITM just isn’t reliant upon originations to generate its earnings, it was able to very swiftly scale down its headcount in that space. Origination primarily based G&A declined by $900 million from This autumn 21 to 3Q22.

Chart, bar chart, waterfall chart Description automatically generated


Continued cashflows from different enterprise segments together with price reductions maintain RITM wholesome by the downturn, however the true alternative is what occurs when the mortgage market comes again.

Non-bank standing makes it simpler to cut back up

Banks are over-regulated. For the reason that monetary disaster there are SIFI guidelines and in depth oversight on every little thing they do. Maybe one may argue that that is useful to the economic system general, however from a aggressive standpoint it’s a large drawback.

As a non-bank mortgage REIT, the regulatory burden on RITM is sort of lax as compared permitting it to function extra swiftly and at decrease price. I imagine it will result in market share seize for the non-banks.

The market share that was vacated by Wells Fargo will likely be up for grabs and RITM is nicely positioned to maneuver in.


Regardless of RITM’s MSR portfolio totally offsetting the challenges of rising rates of interest, there’s a basic malaise round dwelling mortgages which I believe has incorrectly dragged RITM down by affiliation with its group.

Because of the value decline together with the guide worth achieve, RITM now trades at 74% of guide worth. Since its earnings have largely remained intact as a result of energy in its different enterprise segments, RITM is now buying and selling at 6.7X ahead earnings.

That may be a low-cost inventory and I discover the ahead outlook to be considerably stronger than what’s implied by that pricing. I believe RITM will outperform the market.

An excellent higher method to spend money on it

Whereas bullish on the frequent, the preferreds appear to supply a better return as a result of excessive discounting to par.

Graphical user interface Description automatically generated

Portfolio Earnings Options – most well-liked desk – knowledge as of 1/12/23

RITM’s preferreds are a bit uncommon in that the convert to floating fee yields and the phrases of those have been written when rates of interest have been significantly decrease. Consequently, the floating fee coupons upon conversion are at anyplace from 496 to 622 foundation factors above LIBOR (quickly to be SOFR). Given how a lot the brief finish of the curve has risen it leads to some astronomical yields.

Taking a look at the popular C for instance, it has a coupon of 6.38% towards a $25 par worth however because it trades at $18.80 that makes it an 8.48% present yield. In 2025 it’ll convert to a floating fee of SOFR + 496 foundation factors which at at present’s rate of interest is a coupon of 9.78% which once more as a result of low cost can be a carrying yield of 13.00%.

On prime of the large dividend, one has the potential to seize 33% capital appreciation within the return to par. I discover that to be a extremely engaging return profile for the popular tranche of a giant mREIT in wholesome monetary situation.

Source link