Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey

Lenders Show Signs of Optimism as Mortgage Demand Expectations Improve

Upgraded Outlook Supports Call for Stronger Spring Selling Season

March 13, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – The net profit margin outlook for mortgage lenders, while still negative, improved significantly in the first three months of 2019, due primarily to stronger demand expectations for both purchase and refinance mortgages, according to Fannie Mae’s Q1 2019 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey®.

"Lenders appear less pessimistic regarding mortgage demand expectations; thus their profit margin outlook over the next three months is also slightly improved," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "While the results seem to portray the gloomiest picture of purchase mortgage demand during the prior three months in the survey’s five-year history, the net share of lenders expecting rising demand over the next three months exceeded the level recorded in the same quarter last year. Lenders’ view of the refinance market was somewhat rosier, as both recent and expected demand improved to the best showing in two years, helping to support lenders’ improved profit margin outlook."

"While more lenders anticipate declining rather than rising profit margins, continuing the trend that started in the fourth quarter of 2016, the net share expecting falling profit margins decreased from a survey high in the prior quarter to the lowest share in nearly two years," continued Duncan. "Lenders' improved demand outlook going into the spring selling season bodes well for our forecast of relatively flat mortgage volume this year following the double-digit drop in 2018.”

Lenders upgrade profit margin outlook on improved mortgage demand expectations

On this webpage you will find a news release with highlights from the survey results, a high-level infographic, the Q1 2019 data summary highlighting key attitudinal indicators, a detailed research report, the questionnaire used for the Q1 2019 survey, and FAQs providing additional information about the survey.

Downloads and Related Links

Q1 2019 News Release
Q1 2019 Detailed Research Report  
Q1 2019 Survey Highlights (Infographic)  

Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey Archive
Click here for an archived list of Fannie Mae's Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey results.