After the housing crash, a number of new firms transformed the mortgage industry. But new rules and regulatory pressures could force these non-bank lenders to seek exit strategies, report Bloomberg's Prashant Gopal and Heather Perlberg.

The average cost to originate a home loan jumped by 18 percent in the past two years, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data.

“There has to be consolidation,” said Warren Kornfeld, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service. “Most of these companies will acquire or be acquired.”

Gopal and Perlberg trace the issues back to 2013 and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's final Dodd-Frank rules.

That’s led to record costs for originators, which have had to invest in new technology and hire more staff to help enforce and monitor new lending and servicing requirements. Average loan production costs reached $7,046 per mortgage in 2015, up from $5,948 in 2013, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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