Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey

Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey - March 18th 2015

March 18, 2015
Optimistic Mortgage Demand and Profit Outlook with Gradual Credit Easing; Data Support Forecast for Modest Housing Expansion in 2015

Fannie Mae's first quarter 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey reveals an improving outlook among mortgage lenders regarding their lending activities and market expectations. Compared with last quarter and the same period last year, this quarter's results show that more lenders expect mortgage demand and their profit margin to grow over the next three months. Results also show that credit tightening observed last year has continued to trend down gradually moving into 2015. For GSE-eligible purchase loans, 71 percent of lenders surveyed say they expect purchase mortgage demand to go up over the next three months, compared with 59 percent reported during the same quarter last year. Additionally, 41 percent of lenders reported increased profit margin expectations, compared with 21 percent during the same quarter last year.

Improving economic conditions and a more upbeat outlook for lender profit margins appear to be fueling increased optimism among mortgage lenders at the start of 2015. "The first quarter results mirror a similar trend among American households, as shown in our recently released National Housing Survey data," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "These results are consistent with our view that an improving economy, strengthening employment, and increasing consumer confidence should support a modest housing expansion in 2015, after an uneven and disappointing year for housing activity in 2014."