In its monthly National Housing Survey, Fannie Mae found consumer attitudes about the current state of the housing market ranged from flat to pessimistic in November after an October marked by more hopeful responses. In the year ahead, 44 percent of consumers polled in November's survey predicted further home price gains, flat from October, while 6 percent anticipated declines, down just slightly from the previous report. The average home price change expectation was 2.6 percent, turning down from 2-point-8 percent in October.
The current state of the credit market also has many Americans doubtful about their chances of getting a loan. Forty-eight percent of respondents in Fannie Mae's survey said they think it would be easy to get a mortgage today, remaining unchanged from the past few months. The share of those saying it would be difficult to get a mortgage was down from October but still elevated at 47 percent.
U.S. home lenders managed to boost origination volumes in the third quarter from the prior period, but lending activity in 2014 remains weak compared to last year's numbers. Mortgage lenders originated an estimated 320 billion dollars in loans throughout the quarter, according to information collected by Mortgage Daily. While up nearly 8 percent from the second quarter's total of about 300 billion, third-quarter volumes fell short of year-ago levels by 31 percent. Once again, Wells Fargo stayed in the top spot as the country's biggest home lender, originating 48 billion dollars. The next biggest originator—Chase—posted a little less than half of that: 22 billion.