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March 12, 2018 | Amazon Mortgage Lending: Good Idea? Why? What’s Next?

Mike 'Mish' Shedlock

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management. Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.
Amazon formed a mortgage lending division. The company seemingly wants to be a one-stop shop for everything.

Earlier this week, we reported to the LendingLife community that online shopping giant Amazon may be looking to get into the mortgage lending business, or at least that’s the rumor among mortgage lending professionals.

While limited in scope, Amazon’s plans are to start with offering checking programs first, then maybe move into the debt product space after.

Well, after reporting that, we’ve received information that Amazon is currently looking to hire someone to lead their newly-formed mortgage lending division. Due to non-disclosure agreements, we probably shouldn’t reveal their identities. After all, with Amazon planning a move into mortgage lending, it’s best we work with them and not against them. Am I right?

We can say that if you look at the top 10 HMDA lenders and pick out the nonbanks, that’s where Amazon is recruiting their talent.

Amazon Prime Now

TheTruthAboutMortgage reports Amazon Mortgage Might Be a Thing Soon.

A 1-Click Mortgage Sounds Kind of Nice

If you use Amazon, which I’m going to assume you do, you’re probably familiar with how easy they make everything.

While home loans will inevitably never be this simple, Amazon does seem to have a knack for making things a little less painful.

I’m not sure how Amazon would innovate in this space, but I’m sure they’d think of a way to do things faster, and perhaps in a more productive fashion while maybe driving the price down.

It probably wouldn’t be good news for mortgage loan officers, who could stand to lose their jobs to automation.

Questions Abound

These stories broke four days ago. There is no additional news thus questions abound. Amazon checking accounts? Amazon lending?

This is on top of the January announcement that Amazon, Buffett, JPMorgan Team Up on Healthcare.

What about Whole Foods? What is that deal really about?

The moment that deal was announced I figured it was all about acquiring physical space.

Can they launch drones from those locations?

Amazon Realty?

Why not?

In fact. that is precisely where I would like to see Amazon and precisely where they could do the most good.

Six percent real estate commissions are obscene. Why should commissions be 6%, not 1% or 2%?

Why not a flat fee? Is it any harder to sell a $250,000 home than a $1,000,000 home? Does the agent do any more work?

In many California cities, it may be far easier to sell a $1,000,000 home simply because there is no supply of $250,000 homes.

Who wouldn’t want to list with Amazon Realty, especially if Amazon offered lower commissions?

Mortgage lending or checking does not excite me much. Putting competition into real estate buying and selling is another matter, especially if Amazon could figure out a way to represent the buyer, offering buying agents as opposed to selling agents.

In the back of my mind though is the notion that Amazon has overreached.

You cannot be everywhere at once. Or can you?

Will Amazon rule the world?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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March 12th, 2018

Posted In: Mish Talk

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