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loanDepot, Inc. (LDI) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

By Motley Fool Transcribing – Nov 1, 2021 at 10:00PM

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LDI earnings call for the period ending September 30, 2021.

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loanDepot, Inc. (LDI 13.68%)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Nov 01, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Good morning, and welcome, everyone, to loanDepot's third quarter conference call. [Operator instructions]. I would now like to turn the call over to Gerhard Erdelji, senior vice president, investor relations. Please go ahead.

Gerhard Erdelji -- Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining our call. I'm Gerhard Erdelji, investor relations officer here at loanDepot. Today, we will discuss loanDepot's third quarter results. We are excited to share our financial results and other highlights of the quarter with you.

Before we begin, I would like to remind everyone that this conference call may include forward-looking statements regarding the company's operating and financial performance in future periods. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to guidance to our pull-through weather rate lock volume, origination volume, and pull-through weighted gain on sale margin. These statements are based on the company's current expectations and available information. Actual results for future periods may differ materially from these forward-looking statements due to risks or other factors that are described in the risk factors section of our filings with the SEC.

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A webcast and a transcript of this call will be posted on the company's investor relations website at investor.loandepot.com, under the events and presentations tab. On today's call, we have loanDepot's founder, chairman, and CEO, Anthony Hsieh; and our chief financial officer, Patrick Flanagan, to provide an overview of our quarter as well as our financial and operational results, outlook, and to answer your questions. We are always joined by our chief capital markets officer, Jeff DerGurahian; our chief analytics officer, John Lee; and our chief revenue officer, Jeff Walsh, to help address any questions you might have after our prepared remarks. And with that, I'll turn things over to Anthony to get it started.

Anthony?

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Gerhard. I'm pleased to be with all of you on the call today. Thank you for joining us. I look forward to sharing my perspective and answering your questions this morning.

The third quarter proved to be another strong milestone in market share growth. According to the most recent data from the MBA, our market share increased by 46% from 2.4% to 3.5% compared to the same quarter last year. To put that increase into perspective, while the third quarter of 2020 was our most profitable quarter ever, our largest annual increase in market share came after that, demonstrating the resiliency and strength of our diversified channel strategy. When you combine that strategy with our growth, growing brand, and proprietary mello tech stack, loanDepot is the industry's only scale model of this type, and the hard work and enthusiasm of our talented employees delivered this growth.

Our results demonstrated the agility and operational flexibility of our multichannel strategy, which enables us to succeed in any market condition, including challenging ones. When competitive pressures in one channel compress profit margins, we have the flexibility to focus on our other channels and still deliver on our strategic goals. When increasing interest rates reduced the demand for rate and term refinances, we pivoted to emphasize the origination of less interest rate sensitive loans, such as purchase and cash-out refinances. Combined, these two categories of loans increased 13% over the last quarter.

The results of the third quarter are only a preview of what is to come in the future as we continue to hire the best, leverage our growing brand, develop and apply innovative technology solutions, drive down costs, and add more products and services to help our customers successfully navigate one of the most important financial transactions of their lives. Our marketing engine and customer acquisition abilities are one of the best in the business. Notably, in October, we wrapped up the successful first year of our multiyear partnership with Major League Baseball, by dominating media exposure of one of the biggest stages in professional sports. The Lead Championship series presented by loanDepot, our brand reached millions of baseball fans during ALCS and NLCS and was further supported by the launch of a new national advertising campaign, portrait of a homeowner that shares the benefits and unique feelings of owning a home through the eyes of real loanDepot customers.

Our market share increase is a direct result of our growing investment and increasing marketing reach, as well as our technology that matches customers to the best loan officer for their needs across our multichannel strategy. Our unique website visitors for the first nine months of 2021 are up over 16% compared to the same period in 2020. This was in the face of lower market volume. With a similar advertising spend in the second quarter, we achieved double-digit brand metric increases during third quarter with consideration increasing by 15% and awareness increasing by 14% during the third quarter.

loanDepot's brand continues to gain momentum. Looking ahead, the real estate services industry are moving toward consolidation of products and services for the homeowner and loanDepot is leading the way. We are uniquely positioned with the brand, technology, and scale to invest in these additional products and services, particularly with the loanDepot grand plan. Having announced this bundle of home buying services early in the third quarter, we are already starting to achieve early success, purchase lead funding, real estate agent introductions and real estate listings all increased substantially since the first quarter of this year.

This growth, while impressive, was primarily accomplished before we publicly announced our Grand Slam package and was internally driven. We expect even better results in the coming quarters. Growth rates should accelerate as direct-to-consumer marketing for mellohome and Grand Slam gains traction. And we won't stop there, we're already planning to offer additional products and services for the benefit of our customers.

Today, loanDepot is more than a mortgage company. We're a digital commerce company committed to serving our customers throughout the homeownership journey with a full suite of products and services that meet our customers' needs. Along that journey, we are uniquely positioned to provide exceptional value and the reason to return to us long after an initial home financing transaction is complete. There is an energy and enthusiasm at loanDepot.

We're growing and remaining very true to our public statements about our intentions, abilities, and the ways in which we can do and will deliver for our customers. While we are proud of our progress, much of our energy is derived from the fact that we are just getting started. We are always looking for new opportunities to grow and further accelerate our long-term strategy. I am excited about what the future holds for our customers, our team, and ultimately, our shareholders.

With that, I'll turn things over to our CFO, Pat Flanagan, who will walk you and take you through our financial results in greater detail. Pat?

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Anthony, and good morning, everyone. We're coming up on the six-month mark since our IPO in February, and I'm both excited and proud of what we've achieved during this short period of time as a public company, thanks to the continuous hard work and commitment of team loanDepot. This quarter, we reported total revenue of 924 million, diluted earnings per share of $0.40 and adjusted diluted earnings per share of $0.46, reflecting higher loan origination volumes and gain on sale margins, as well as lower operating expenses. In the third quarter, loan origination volume was 32 billion, a decrease of 7% from the second quarter of 2021.

This met the guidance that we issued last quarter of loan origination volume of between 30 billion and 36 billion. Our retail and partner strategies delivered 11 billion of purchase loan originations and 21 billion of refinance loan originations during the period. Our retail channel accounted for 78% of our loan originations and our partner channel accounted for 22% of our loan originations. The consistent contributions across both channels signify the strong customer and mortgage broker relationships we've built over time, as well as the effectiveness of our innovative mello technology platform to underwrite process and fund mortgage loans originated both in-house and with our partners while delivering an exceptional customer experience.

Our rate lock volume of 43.7 billion for the third quarter resulted in total -- and quarterly total revenue of 924 million, which represented an increase of 18% from the second quarter. Rate lock volume came in at the low end of the guidance we issued last quarter of 44 billion to 54 billion. The increase in revenues is a result of the higher rate lock volume and gain on sale margins. Our gain on sale margin for the third quarter came in at 2.84% of loan origination volume.

This also met our guidance for gain on sale margin that we issued last quarter of between 245 and 295 basis points. Going forward, we will be expressing gain on sale margins as a percentage of pull-through weighted rate lock volume since this most closely aligns with the origination revenue that we recognize in each period. For comparative purposes, we have disclosed both gross and pull-through weighted rate lock volume in our earnings release this quarter. Our total expenses for the third quarter of 2021 decreased by 1% from the second quarter of 2021, primarily due to lower variable expenses on lower loan origination volume, offset somewhat by higher marketing expenses as we continue to invest in our brand.

During the second quarter, there were lawsuits filed against the company. These were comprised primarily of shareholder suits motivated by the recent decline in our share price. There was also a suit filed by a former executive, alleging loan underwriting in proprieties and employment lock claims. Given these are in active litigation, my comments must remain somewhat limited.

However, loanDepot is committed to operating at all times according to ethical, responsible, and compliant business practices grounded in values of inclusivity and respect for our team members, customers, and all of our stakeholders. Our procedures require all loans to be closed with proper documentation and subject to appropriate quality control. We intend to vigorously defend ourselves and are confident that we will prevail. These lawsuits and their claims have not resulted in any material adverse impacts from our warehouse lenders, the agencies, or investors.

We have not, at this time, recorded a liability related to these lawsuits. Our growing servicing portfolio perfectly complements our origination strategy and ensures we can serve our customers through their entire mortgage journey. The unpaid principal balance of our servicing portfolio grew to a record level of 145.3 billion as of September 30, 2021, compared to 138.8 billion in the second quarter. This growth was inclusive of a sale of 13.5 billion of unpaid principal balance completed during the quarter.

Servicing fee income increased from 48 million in the third quarter of 2020 to 102 million in the third quarter of this year. While relatively low market interest rates continue to result in faster prepayment rates, we were able to retain many of these customers as preliminary organic refinance consumer direct recapture rate for the 12 months ended September 30, 2021, increased to 71%, as compared to 61% for the 12 months ended September 30, 2020, highlighting the strength of our deepening customer relationships. We are extremely proud of our progress because this growth was against the backdrop of growing our servicing portfolio in-house and relying relatively less on third-party subservicing partners. We have invested in our in-house servicing capabilities by growing the portfolio and bringing more servicing in-house, we leverage the infrastructure and create the scale to increase the earnings contribution from this recurring countercyclical business line.

We reported adjusted EBITDA of 238.3 million, and net income of 154.3 million, as compared to 109.3 million and 26.3 million for the second quarter of 2021. The quarter-over-quarter increase was primarily driven by the increase in net income, as well as a smaller net loss in the fair value of servicing rights. As we look ahead to the fourth quarter and building on the growth strategies that Anthony laid out, and assuming no material changes in interest rates and competitive landscape, the company expects pull-through weighted rate lock volume of between 18 billion and 28 billion, reflecting the recent increase in interest rates and seasonal slowdown in demand. We also expect loan origination volume between 26 billion and 31 billion, and we expect fourth quarter pull-through weighted gain on sale margins of between 210 and 260 basis points.

Now let me turn it back over to Anthony for some closing comments.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Pat. I just want to take a moment and say that I'm proud of this team and our results this quarter. I'm also proud of the spirit of our company, employees and those that we choose to partner with. We are a company that believes in supporting the communities in which we do business and the people that make our success possible.

As proud as I am of all loanDepot has accomplished, we remain focused on our long-term strategy and vision to become the most trusted homeowner fulfillment company in the world, using our industry-leading position to drive the type of value and ease that today's customer expects in demand. Before we turn to questions, I want to reemphasize what many of you have heard me talk about many times before. We are still very early in this mortgage market cycle that started after the great recession of 2008. The productive capacity in the industry at that time was wiped out with most of the top lenders either going out of business or being severely disrupted.

Since we began business in 2010, customer expectations and service level demands have changed significantly. The application of technology have accelerated every aspect of our business from customer acquisition, to loan processing, underwriting and closing, and to servicing. While we are very proud of our market share growing to 3.5%. loanDepot with its digital assets nationally recognized brand, cutting-edge technology tools, relentless sales culture and diversified channel strategy is in a leadership position to aggressively attack the remaining 96.5% of the 12 trillion mortgage market.

And as we expand and mature our adjacent real estate related service business, we can attack the broader 34 trillion residential real estate market, leading the consolidation of the market that is likely to occur. loanDepot represents an incredible value, and we are confident we will continue to accelerate our growth, increase our market share, serve our customers, employees, shareholders, and communities while outperforming in the long term. We remain focused on our strategy of serving our customers through every stage of their homeownership journey. With that, we are ready to turn it back to the operator for Q&A.

Operator?

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator instructions]. Your first question comes from the line of Doug Harter with Credit Suisse. Your line is open.

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Thanks. Relative marketing spending was higher this quarter. I was just hoping you could talk about how you think about kind of balancing -- continuing to build out the brand, making those marketing investments versus maybe pulling back given that the size of the market is a little bit smaller today.

John Lee -- Chief Revenue Officer

Good morning. This is John Lee, I'll take that question. So we're adapting to a changing demand profile in the refinance market, obviously. And our data-driven multichannel marketing strategy is working to drive higher lead volume and dive deeper into the refinance market.

During the quarter, we increased marketing spend 14%, as you mentioned, and grew lead 33%, which allowed us to expand market share to 3.5%. Our improving brand recognition and consideration is driving higher ad awareness and larger growth in our organic lead channels, which is up 41% year over year, and website traffic is also up 16% during the same period. Our overall lead generation is up 118% year over year, and our purchase lead activity is up 29% quarter over quarter and 145% year over year. We believe this is a result of the incredible increase in brand awareness and consideration that's been driven by our increase in brand spend over the last 12 months.

In terms of continued growth, we have -- obviously, we're going to continue to expand into our multichannel marketing strategy. We have very robust TV and digital assets, and we are continuing to grow social media and website advertising. Our partnerships with the MLB and Marlin Stadium have also increased our consideration and awareness in the market. For example, for MLB, we drove 595 million impressions since the launch of that partnership.

And relating to expansion of partnerships, yes, we are looking to grow. Our growth and brand awareness is driving more interest in partnerships across many verticals. And we have an internal partnership team focused on growing relationships in the future.

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Great. Just one follow-up. I guess, is there any kind of seasonality to the marketing expense given the relationship with Major League Baseball and kind of the league championship series?

John Lee -- Chief Revenue Officer

That's a great question. There is. And as we watch lead demand day over day, quarter over quarter, we'll adjust both our brand spend and our performance marketing spend, which is focused on lead generation to match that quarterly change in demand profile.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

And, Doug, it's Anthony. I just want to chime in with my remarks on building the brand. I just want to remind everyone, arguably we're the only other nonbank brand in the market today. Brand matters.

And as our No. 1 competitor who is, I believe, 25 years or senior and has, I believe, four or 5x our current annual marketing spend that there is just a nice draft process that in the terms of auto racing, we're just being pulled by our No. 1 competitor as far as industry consideration. And the fact that you can use your device to get a mortgage in today's world.

So building our brand, investing in our brand and looking at marketing in terms of direct response, both digitally and off-line is something that we track and best-in-class at. So tracking conversion, cost of customer acquisition on a per funded basis, as well as building long-term brand is sort of a balance that this company does, and we will continue to balance those two as we move forward and capture additional market share and to build a national brand.

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Great. Thank you.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

You are welcome.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Brock Vandervliet with UBS. Your line is open.

Brock Vandervliet -- UBS -- Analyst

Good morning. Thanks very much for the question. Just stepping back on the gain on sale. Obviously, last quarter, it felt like the world was coming to an end.

I won't ask the trite question of what inning are we in, but can you kind of put in context where we are in terms of gain on sale, and yes, I've got a follow-up from that.

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure. Thanks it's Pat. Good question. So the dynamics in gain on sale continue to evolve and be volatile based on demand in the market and where rates are and also seasonally or -- so we think there's strength in our red origination channels because there's more -- as the market changes, we can emphasize one channel over the other, which reduces the volatility.

So currently, based on seasonality and -- which has seasonality means it comes every year. And the most recent rise in rates, we're seeing gain-on-sale margins tending lower than where they were for the third quarter and not altogether unexpected for the fourth quarter. As far as what inning we're in, it's hard to tell. We're pretty confident in the guidance we've given of GOS margins on culture weighted lock adjustment basements of between 210 and 260 basis points for Q4.

Brock Vandervliet -- UBS -- Analyst

OK. And one thing I know our investors puzzle about a lot is just the interconnection between different channels of origination and we gain on sale profile. It clearly seems like partner, you're seeing more that's consistent more pressure, less in retail. How I guess, interconnected, and you found the varying channels so far in the cycle?

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Brock, it's Anthony Hsieh. Great question. And perhaps Pat can answer it after my comments on more of the mechanical answer. But keep in mind that in an adjusting market, various channels will have different reactions to the pressure.

But ultimately, as the pressure continues, it's all going to equalize between different channels. I mean the way that GOS is determined, it's a herd mentality. We are top three retail lender in the country, bank and nonbank, and we have 3.5% market share. So the market, as my comments, is still very early since the 2008 financial crisis.

So capacity is still spread out massively through the industry. So GOS is a herd mentality. Now some of the larger players can be front of the herd by placing more pressure -- but the market follows the herd. And ultimately, the pressure is a good thing for operating companies to have a unique advantage.

So as the innings go on or the games go on, the seasons go on, the pressure is bad for earnings but is great for market share and for market positioning. So this is where it's critically important for this organization to focus on the opportunities. Last year, because of growing markets and volume, we had a record-breaking earnings year, top by Q3, where we have record earnings for Q3. Now we have record market share for Q3 this year.

So we will win either direction. And as the market continues to change because of this herd mentality, what we can control is our cost structure, which we are leading the industry in. So as far as the exact sort of decoupling or how the different channels is moving right now, Pat, if you have comments to that, that would be helpful for Brock.

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

Sure. I think particularly in the partner channel with your comment. And there's wide variation in gross margin in our two kind of subcomponents of partnership channel. So our builder joint venture and bank referral and gain on sale margins actually increased quarter over quarter, and we saw continued pricing pressure in the wholesale channel through mortgage brokers where that side of the business actually decreased quarter over quarter.

And we see the same thing happening in the retail side. There's been more resiliency in gain on sale margins in our end market channel, and they're more relationship driven and less price competitive or sensitive customers and increasing amount of competitiveness in the direct-to-consumer channel.

Brock Vandervliet -- UBS -- Analyst

Got it. OK. Thank you very much for the color.

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

No problem.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Kevin Barker with Piper Sandler. Your line is open.

Kevin Barker -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Good morning. Thanks for taking my questions. I just want to follow up on your operating expenses, maybe some of the comments around marketing. We noticed that your operating expenses to come down slightly quarter over quarter, in particular, personnel expense, which dropped over $20 million.

Are you expecting those expenses to continue to decline with production volume declining in the fourth quarter? And then also, do you expect operating expenses as a percent of originations to continue to decline as we go into 2022.

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

Kevin, yes, this is Pat. Another good question. So the reductions that you saw quarter over quarter were based in large part due to initiatives that we began in the second quarter that focused around normalization of our workforce, redesign of compensation expenses, and reduction of overtime, and they continue into the fourth quarter. In addition to that, there are additional cost savings initiatives that have just recently begun that we would continue into the fourth quarter and into 2022.

And I think of note, our actual savings exceeded our planned amount by 21% in the quarter. So we would expect those continue to decline going into next year. One part that's a little bit confusing as we continue to grow and build our servicing and move servicing in-house, we actually incur more personnel expense as we hire more folks in our in-house servicing platform that would have come through in subservicing expense in previous quarters. So the dynamic of that is going to change slightly as we continue that migration.

Kevin Barker -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

So would you expect your pre-tax margins to see quite a bit of seasonality as we go through the next couple of quarters, just given seasonally lower volumes combined with the buildup of servicing personnel.

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

Yes. I do think that's correct. And I would point you back to the areas of guidance that we gave with lock volume 18 to 28 billion and funded volume between 26 and 31. and then gross margins between 210 and 260 on a lock basis and assume continued a little bit of continued improvement we expect in expense margins.

Kevin Barker -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

So would the expenses decline at a similar rate or less rate than we saw that we will see in revenue just given your guidance?

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

We haven't provided that level of expense guidance going forward.

Kevin Barker -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

OK. And then can you give us just any recent progress that you've made with Grand Slam or any statistics on how that's been -- how the rollout is going and any revenue generated from it?

Jeff Walsh -- Chief Revenue Officer

Yes. This is Jeff Walsh. I can talk about that a little bit. We have a strong top of the funnel momentum with mellohome as digital mortgage purchase leads are up.

We believe the consolidation of services and service offerings is going to continue to accelerate. mellohome allows us to not only provide the mortgage financing, but also participate in the real estate service and real estate fee. And we're also able to offer other services such as title, escrow, closing, insurance, and soon to be other services related to the home -- homeownership. All of this is really designed to create a better, less stressful buying experience, especially for first-time homeowners.

So Anthony and I had mentioned that the overall fundings from digital purchase leads was up to 704 million from 416 million in Q1. Also introductions to real estate agents was significantly up from Q1 where it was 596 or up 142 million, up now to Q3, where it's 1,305 for 412 million in real estate introductions. Also on the sell side, opportunities were up going from 7 million in listings in Q1 to 81 million for the same period. So kind of the overall momentum and all of the metrics that kind of drive mellohome and Grand Slam are all continue to be positive heading into the fourth quarter as well.

Kevin Barker -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Thanks for taking my questions.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Bob Napoli with William Blair. Your line is open.

Bob Napoli -- William Blair -- Analyst

Good morning. Thank you for the question. So, Anthony, you don't break out R&D expense separately, but can you talk about the level of R&D spend, where -- what are the most important areas of investment and what you have maybe what kind of a product road map do you have?

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Bob, it's constantly boiling the ocean, right, as far as the digital journey. Just a few months ago, we made a significant hire in George Brady. I'm happy to report that George has caught great momentum here and has given me a digital road map that we are currently evaluating. There's lots of things to do because this industry is going to get a lot more complicated as the desires of a customer is no longer about mortgage.

It's about the entire homeownership journey. So it's more than just the digital process and the innovation. It's about building out additional products and services in all the adjacencies a customer wants to be able to buy a home and move in and the way that this country is set up over the course of last century is to force the customer to make multiple buying decisions on all of the appropriate decisions in different companies that must be involved. So not answering your question directly, but from a very high-level perspective, we are absolutely going to invest and invest heavily and almost double down on our digital and our tools going forward.

This market, Bob, today, is a market for us to attack. And this is a less than 12-year old company, we have risen to the top three retail lender in the country. And we got here from making smart long-term decisions. GOS is really important, and we will absolutely leverage and maximize cost and leveraging our brand to lower customer acquisition costs by market positioning and adding adjacent products and services to our core customers is sort of our long-term plan.

But overall, the digital footprint of this organization remains very, very strong, and George Brady will be leading that charge.

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

Bob, this is Pat. I can give you just a little context of numbers as well. So year to date, we've capitalized $21.2 million for development spend of -- to develop and maintain the Bell technology stack. So that gives you a decent perspective on the size of that investment.

Bob Napoli -- William Blair -- Analyst

Thank you. And then just a follow-up question. Given what the outlook market outlook, I guess, over the next year. What are your thoughts around the market share gains? And how focused are you on increasing that market share over the next year, if you would.

.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Bob, I typically don't call out market share gains. Market share gain is a byproduct of competitive advantages that the company has built. So as we get into Q4 and Q1, that are typically thinner quarters for our industry, we need to be very balanced between expense management and preserving our ability to scale. Should the market surprise us next year with greater volumes than what MBA or Fannie Freddie is forecasting now.

I will say being in this business as long as I have, I don't think those three institutions have been aggressive on their future year volume predictions. So I think we need to be sensitive to that. We also need to remember that we're 30-year fixed interest rates am today and the outstanding $12 trillion in outstanding mortgages, even a 10 to 15% turn on refinance is still a 1.5 to $2 trillion refinance market, and there's plenty of equity and cash outs. So I -- we believe that next year is going to be a bit stronger, and we certainly want to be in the position to capture that.

Bob Napoli -- William Blair -- Analyst

Thank you. Appreciate it.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Sure.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Trevor Cranston with JMP Securities. Your line is open.

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Thanks. Couple of questions on the servicing side. First, can you give us an update in terms of where you are in terms of transitioning the portfolio in-house and away from third-party sub-servicers. And then the second question, you noted that you sold about 14 billion of MSRs during the third quarter.

I was just curious if you could comment on what was driving that you'd be thinking of any additional bulk sales over head into the fourth quarter versus just regaining everything. Thanks.

Jeff DerGurahian -- Chief Capital Markets Officer

Trevor, this is Jeff DerGurahian, I can fill that for you. In terms of the servicing transition in-house, even is still going as planned. Right now, we are servicing all new GSE originations on our in-house platform. And we expect to be fully transitioned office hub services by the middle of 2022.

And then in terms of the sale in Q3. we Continue to look for ways to optimize the servicing asset on our balance sheet to work for cross-sells and other ancillary income opportunities. And so we'll continue to do that going forward to match the size of the assets, the balance sheet as well as, again, trying to maximize our recapture opportunities and other cross-sell.

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

OK. That makes sense. Thank you.

Jeff DerGurahian -- Chief Capital Markets Officer

Welcome.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of John Davis with Raymond James. Your line is open.

John Davis -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Good morning, guys. I just wanted to get your thoughts on conforming loan limits, likely going to go up about 20% here. And what do you think the impact is on the refi market? Maybe for loanDepot specifically, but also just the broader market given how much home prices have appreciated. And do you you guys started raising your lives or kind of any steps in preparing for that potential refi boom.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

John, we certainly hope there's going to be a refi boom. The increased loan limits will no doubt broaden the audience and broaden the available mortgages out there today in terms of cash out and to a lesser extent, rate and term. I think more importantly, what we need to understand is when interest rate starts to move it is a balancing act between supply and demand. The mortgage industry is still heavily populated with lots of cost on the labor side.

And until that labor gets equalized to the current demand of mortgage applications, you have pressure on GOS. So this usually will normalize one, two, three quarters. And once it normalizes, all of a sudden, the market is going to seem very, very bullish. a $1 trillion refinance is still a ton of business.

It just depends on how much labor is chasing after that $1 trillion. So we're going through that adjustment period now. And as I stated before, the pressure is good. It's good for market positioning.

It's good for us to continue to focus on scale and efficiency and leveraging our technology, as well as our very valuable brand. So the fact that agencies increasing their loan emits no doubt is going to help. But ultimately, the labor in the industry has to be rightsized the master current application demand.

John Davis -- Raymond James -- Analyst

OK. That's helpful. Just a quick follow-up on GOS. I think, obviously, think it's really hard to say how long it's going to take to normalize.

But bigger picture, is there anything that you see out there that may mean that the GOS is going to be structurally lower going forward than where it has historically been? Or is this more of just a timing thing? We don't know how long into it normalizes, but we believe it will normalize. Anything at all you see structurally that maybe changes GOS on a go-forward basis?

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Yes. So again, GOS is more of a herd mentality, but there's two fundamental things driving GOS, John. One is the overcapacity in the industry, and everyone is chasing loan volumes to keep their workforce and task or keeping their company busy. So that pressure we have seen for the last four or five interest recycles spanning over the last three years.

But in this cycle, we also have some leaders in the industry that wants to add additional pressure by lowering price. So that is a strategic move. and that certainly is welcome because that puts additional pressure on the industry and washes out the weaker operational companies that are out there. So this is a cleansing of the capacity side.

The capacity was built up starting in 2008 until now, and now the capacity will start to shrink, and it has to because we just came off of a terrific year in 2020. But the volumes in 2021 and 2022 are still likely to be in the top five to 10 in all-time mortgage lending history. So it's still going to be very, very healthy. It's not a matter of how much volume is in the next one, two, three years.

It's a matter of how much capacity is in the industry.

John Davis -- Raymond James -- Analyst

All right. Very helpful. Thanks, guys.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Sure.

Operator

[Operator instructions]. Your next question comes from the line of James Faucette of Morgan Stanley? Your line is open.

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Thank you very much, and thanks for all your comments and color on the industry, what you see, etc. I'm wondering if back to your point around market share gains but also the things that you've been doing to take on more servicing. How should we think about like how much servicing you to ultimately like to do directly? And how are you thinking about that as a path to future share gains and kind of retain that customer base through their life cycles. Thanks.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

So let me -- it's Anthony, James. Let me answer it strategically and then perhaps Pat or Jeff can come in and add some narrative color. We are just now transitioning servicing from third party to our own internal servicing. That decision was not made because we didn't want to control servicing in-house.

We've always wanted that. But as a de novo start-up that started in January 2010, the prioritization of building technology and building assets of this organization, plus in the first five years, we locked the scale in the ability to hold these assets on balance sheet as we invest it into origination, and we've grown this organization 40-plus percent on the average year over year for the first 11 years. It wasn't a lack of strategy of moving it internally with our servicing platform, but it's more of prioritization. And the way that we look at holding servicing on a go-forward basis, the advantages of holding servicing for a model such as ours is the recapture rate.

So you're really holding on to the assets until you get the second bite of the apple as our recapture rate is hovering around 60 to 70%, which is industry's best. So we're able to get a second refinance out of that customer and will have incurred a zero marketing cost. So that is a very, very attractive proposition for our company with a consumer direct or direct lending platform. As far as the yield on holding the asset, I'll let Jeff or Pat chime into that, but I wanted to at least lay out the reasons of holding servicing strategically.

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

James, it's Pat. Let me give a little bit of context. So as Anthony said, we want to be a single provider for homeowners for all of the products and needs that we can. And so we intend to keep as much of the servicing, especially where we believe we have good customer dynamics to be able to serve that customer in the future subject to the constraints of our balance sheet.

So a couple of things. So the amount of servicing we can keep is very correlated to what the overall gain on sale margins are and what the cash flow dynamics look like and the governor for us ends up being leveraged on the balance sheet. So you'll see us continue to operate keeping as much servicing asset as we can within -- and keeping the leverage at appropriate levels for our company.

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

I appreciate that. And Anthony, I think the strategic benefits are pretty clear to us. I'm wondering, as you kind of go through the decision-making process of which ones you retain, etc., and how we should expect that to grow over time. Can you give a little bit of color what you're doing today and what you would like to do in the future in that regard?

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Jeff, would you mind taking this one from James?

Jeff DerGurahian -- Chief Capital Markets Officer

Sure, James. We're always looking at consumer behavior. So it goes hand in hand with what's done by John Lee and his team on the analytics side. And so as trends develop in our borrower base and the consumer data set, we'll continue to tweak how we look at certain borrowers that are available to be sold or retained and make that decision going forward again in the context of keeping within the limits of the balance sheet.

So it's an ongoing process of just optimization.

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

That is great. Thanks very much.

Jeff DerGurahian -- Chief Capital Markets Officer

You are welcome.

Operator

And your last question comes from the line of Derek Hewett with Bank of America. Your line is open.

Derek Hewett -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

Good morning, everyone. Maybe Anthony or Patrick, are you starting to see signs that some of these smaller subscale recent nayers are willing to partner with stronger corporates that have the capacity to -- excuse me, that are due to the overcapacity issues that were kind of raised earlier? And then also what are your thoughts on stock buybacks?

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

I'll take this -- This is Anthony, Derek. I'll take the first question, and then I'll have Pat chime in on the stock buyback question. Yes, as pressure continues to mount, you're going to see lots more opportunities. The challenge here is, do we want to take 10 small bites or you want to go after big bite.

So integration, onboarding is a significant challenge in the mortgage industry. So we have to look at onboarding and acquisitions very, very carefully. And we've done -- and just to remind everybody, we've done two larger acquisitions in our history and have successfully integrated both of those organizations onto our platform and the mello tech stack. So we're constantly evaluating.

We're looking for quality companies that have a culture match. And as this pressure continues to mount, the targets will get cheaper. So we're very, very patient. And keep in mind that this business at scale has a tremendous barrier to entry, tremendous barrier to entry to have loanDepot at our current scale and muscle and positioning with healthy liquidity and the most diversified originator in contemporary times, we are patient.

The market is $12 trillion. And we're just going to continue to look for opportunities to remain very, very, very patient. I'll let Pat or Jeff or other chime in on the stock buyback question.

John Lee -- Chief Revenue Officer

Sure. Thanks, Anthony. So our No. 1 focus here is growing and creating shareholder value, and we have a lot of tools at our disposal to do that.

And the primary use of excess capital in our minds right now in the most place where we'll grow the best shareholder value is continue to invest in the origination and servicing franchises. But we do have other options to return shareholder value that we've used in the past. We have been paying a regular dividend and time to time, we paid special dividends. We would consider stock repurchases, but one of the things that we believe is potentially constraining our stock prices the limited amount of float in the market.

And so it's a less attractive alternative for us to return shareholder value at this time because it would compound that problem for us on a go-forward basis.

Operator

There are no further questions at this time. Anthony Hsieh, I'll turn the call back over to you.

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Well, thank you all again for joining us and for your questions. We look forward to continuing to build our relationship with each and all of you over the long term. Thank you, again, and have a great rest of the day.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 52 minutes

Call participants:

Gerhard Erdelji -- Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Anthony Hsieh -- Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer

Pat Flanagan -- Chief Financial Officer

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

John Lee -- Chief Revenue Officer

Brock Vandervliet -- UBS -- Analyst

Kevin Barker -- Piper Sandler -- Analyst

Jeff Walsh -- Chief Revenue Officer

Bob Napoli -- William Blair -- Analyst

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Jeff DerGurahian -- Chief Capital Markets Officer

John Davis -- Raymond James -- Analyst

James Faucette -- Morgan Stanley -- Analyst

Derek Hewett -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch -- Analyst

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