Despite persistent concerns about risk and regulatory compliance, the majority of mortgage professionals agree that business conditions today are better now than they were a year ago. According to survey results released by the Collingwood Group this week, 33 percent of mortgage lenders, servicers, and other industry professionals believe business conditions are quote--a little better than they were last year. Comments offered from respondents mostly point to more stable and consistent purchase volumes.
The six-month outlook was slightly better than in October, with 64 percent of professionals expecting business conditions to improve. Still, the majority of respondents said they expect conditions will be only a little better or worse, signaling ongoing doubt the industry will see any significant change.
Mortgage banks showed more willingness to lend out in November, though credit access remains tight for more traditional loans. The Mortgage Bankers Association's Mortgage Credit Availability Index nudged up more than 1 percent in November, totaling 114.6 for the month. The MBA's chief economist, Mike Fratantoni, said last month's uptick mostly came from the addition of jumbo loan programs that allow cash-out refinancing. While credit access has been on the rise throughout most of the year, increases have mostly been concentrated in the high-priced mortgage market.