Association celebrates growth at banquet


 By Steve Thorpe

Legal News
The Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association (MMLA) held their 83rd Annual President’s Installation Banquet on Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Atheneum Hotel and Conference Center in Detroit. The association uses the event to honor past, present and future board members and spotlight annual award recipients. 
The keynote speaker was Dan Elsea of Real Estate One, who talked about the current state of the real estate industry in Michigan. Elsea has 25 years of experience and runs the Real Estate One group of companies, which includes a number of local real estate brands like Max Broock, Johnstone & Johnstone, Capital Title and John Adams Mortgage.
The event was sponsored by Liberty Title, Fifth Third Bank, Flagstar Bank, Quicken Loans and more than a dozen other businesses.
Founded in 1929, The MMLA represents hundreds of mortgage banking firms, brokers, commercial banks, savings banks, credit unions, mortgage professionals and others providing products and services to the mortgage industry in Michigan. It also lobbies lawmakers in Lansing on behalf of the industry.
New officers installed at the event included President Allison Meyers of John Adams Mortgage, Vice President Kimberly Alexander of AmeriCU Mortgage, and Secretary/Treasurer Andrew Baker of Mercantile Bank.
Outgoing President Brent Green said that the organization should be proud of what it has accomplished.
“It’s been a heck of a year and I want to take this time to thank you all,” he said. “We started the year with an opportunity to grow and, pretty much, by any measure, we took advantage of that opportunity. Our membership is up nearly 30 percent year over last year and we’re now at 683 members. We have 37 corporate partners and that’s up almost 20 percent from last year.  Our educational events were very well attended and we had about 100 attendees at the compliance seminar.” 
Green also offered special thanks to administrative staff Joanne Misuraca, Alice Alvey, and Murray Brown.
Keynote speaker Elsea described the schizophrenic current state of the housing market in Michigan.
“In a changing market there are some strange signals that can occur,” he said. “One of them is that 84 percent of all the real estate transactions that are occurring right now are homes that have been on the market less than 90 days. If your home has been on the market more than 90 days, there’s only a 16 percent chance it will sell. The strange part is that 40 percent of all the homes on the market have been for sale for more than 90 days.”
He stressed that real estate professionals need to be prepared to deal with the unusual tensions and dynamics the current situation can present.
“It creates odd conversations in the market,” he said. “You’ll have a buyer saying, ‘This is a crazy market. I’ve made three bids on three houses, overbid by 20 percent and still lost every house.’ At the same time, you’ll have 40 percent of the sellers say, ‘This is a strange market. What are they talking about with this recovery? We haven’t had a showing for two months.’ It’s a particularly weird conversation when you have it with the same person.”
Despite the confusion in the housing market right now, Elsea remains optimistic about both the short-term and longer-term future.
“So what’s going on in the next few years? This is the part where I make up a prediction and sound convincing while doing it,” he says, showing a series of slides with data and figures.
“If you do the math, it brings us back to our peak 2005 levels as early as 2017 or maybe even 2016. There were predictions that it would take 20 years to get from peak to peak, but we’ll probably do it in less than 10.”


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