By Katie Penote
Large lenders’ expectations that underwriting standards will ease over the next three months coincide with overall lenders’ expected pullback in the demand for single-family purchase mortgages, according to results from Fannie Mae’s third-quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. The share of lenders who expect purchase mortgage demand to go up over the next three months decreased significantly – between 26 to 33 percentage points depending on loan type – with the largest decline of 33 percentage points on GSE-eligible loans.
Among those surveyed, larger lenders continue to be more likely than their smaller counterparts to say they expect to ease their credit standards during the next three months, in particular for non-GSE-eligible and government loans, perhaps indicating an effort to boost purchase mortgage activity before the year comes to a close.
“Lenders’ diminished purchase mortgage demand outlook is broadly in line with the softened consumer housing sentiment seen in the August National Housing Survey results released last week,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Historically, as lenders face a more competitive market for loan volume, it’s not uncommon to see some loosening in the lending standards; however, this time, the easing will likely be around the edges.”
These latest third quarter results are largely consistent with Fannie Mae’s study released last month, titled “Impact of QM,” that shows larger lenders are more likely than smaller lenders to pursue non-QM loans. “Larger lenders are expecting to tap into the non-GSE-eligible and government loan market to maintain or grow their market share and offset their anticipated slowing mortgage demand as the peak spring/summer selling seasons are coming to an end,” said Duncan.
Highlights from the survey include:
- Compared to general consumers, senior mortgage executives continue to be more optimistic about the overall economy.
- Consumer demand reported for single-family purchase mortgages over the prior three months remain little changed from Q2 to Q3 2014.
- Larger lenders continue to be more likely than smaller lenders to say their credit standards eased over the prior three months and that they expect standards to ease during the next three months, in particular for non-GSE eligible and government loans.
- As in Q1 and Q2, most lending institutions surveyed in Q3 2014 reported that they expect to maintain their post mortgage origination execution strategies for the next three months.
- As in Q1 and Q2, the majority of lenders surveyed in Q3 2014 reported that they expect to maintain their Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSR) strategies for the next three months.
Source: Fannie Mae