Jacobson adds that the firm is better able to gain relationships with local realtors and customers as many big banks have centralized their mortgage operations.
"We definitely feel the difference on the purchase side," he says. Large banks aren't "necessarily concerned with the relationships, whereas we're in the local marketplace ... we may be able to build a long-term relationships. It gives us a definite opportunity to get to know the people."
Still, the opportunity smaller competitors see in the rise in origination activity should not be taken as a sign things are returning to normal.
"We're not anywhere near the normal mode where people are buying houses at normal prices and we are qualifying them for normal new mortgages," US Bancorp's Davis said in the investor presentation. "We are a long way from that."
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