Mortgage and home-equity lenders have reduced direct mail volume by 50% in the first half of 2008 compared?with the year-earlier period – as a result of faltering home sales, new legislation, credit woes and consumer anxiety, according to Mintel Comperemedia.
Lenders sent an estimated 750 million secured-loan mail pieces from January to June 2008. In 2007, they sent 1.5 billion during the same period, according to Mintel:
Secured-loan direct mail has been steadily declining each quarter since the first quarter of 2007. Mintel’s second-quarter 2008 estimates show mortgage and home-equity mail volume 10% lower than during first-quarter 2008 (360 million versus 400 million):
The mortgage sector has fueled recent declines, with lenders reducing mortgage offers by 53% in the first half of 2008 (compared with the first half of 2007), according to Mintel. Home-equity product offers?dropped 44% in volume during the same period.
Mortgage direct mail volume appears to have increased slightly in the second quarter of 2008 (from first-quarter 2008): Lenders mailed 8% more mortgage offers during the second-quarter 2008 (240 million) than during first-quarter 2008 (220 million).
Major players Chase and Capital One drove this quarterly increase in mortgage direct mail: Chase increased its mail volume 90%, while Capital One boosted offers nearly 140% between quarters.
“Though mortgage mail volume remains far lower than a year ago, this is the first uptick we’ve seen in two years,” said Farah Huq, senior analyst at Mintel. “It could be because spring is a prime ‘buying’ season or it could be a sign that lenders are slowly beginning to increase direct mail. Still, we don’t expect significantly higher mail volume until the market settles and consumer confidence returns.”
Home-equity mail continues to plummet in the second quarter, however, bringing overall totals down, according to Mintel.