Archive

Go to:

December 2017
SMTWTFS
12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31
< Nov Jan >
Leaguer Email Subscription

You are not currently subscribed. Click Subscribe below to receive the Leaguer email.

Mortgage Demand Cools, Competition Heats Up, and More Lenders Plan to Ease Credit Standards
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 6:45 AM

More mortgage lenders say they have eased credit standards recently and expect further easing in the coming months, according to Fannie Mae's second quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. On net, the share of lenders reporting they have eased mortgage credit standards over the prior three months has ticked up gradually since the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, when anticipating the next three months, the net share of lenders saying they plan to ease credit standards for GSE eligible, non-GSE eligible, and government loans reached or surpassed survey highs this quarter.

Concerns regarding economic conditions were a top driver for changes in lending standards. Across the three loan types, the share of lenders who reported growth in purchase mortgage demand dropped to the lowest net reading in years for a second-quarter period. The drop in purchase mortgage demand also reflects the latest findings in the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey, in which the net share of consumers who reported that now is a good time to buy a home dropped to a record low. The results of both surveys mirror the ongoing narrative for housing: Tight inventory has pushed up home prices, which is weighing on affordability and constraining sales.

Key findings from Q2 2017 survey (pdf)

"Expectations to ease credit standards climbed to survey highpoints in the second quarter as more lenders reported slowing mortgage demand and increasing concerns about competition from other lenders," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Lenders cited additional contributing factors such as diminishing compliance concerns and more support from the GSEs, including clarification on representations and warranties and tools that provide greater certainty during the loan underwriting process."

"Easing credit standards might also be due in part to increased pressure to compete for declining mortgage volume," continued Duncan. "For the third consecutive quarter, the share of lenders expecting a decrease in profit margin over the next three months exceeded the share with a positive profit margin outlook. For the former, the percentage citing competition from other lenders as a reason for their negative outlook reached a survey high."

Learn more about Fannie Mae's Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.