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Lenders Show ‘Tepid Optimism’ in Business Outlook

banker-and-graphIn a survey conducted as part of the Collingwood Group's Mortgage Industry Outlook Report for October 2014 released on Monday, the majority of mortgage industry professionals who were surveyed said they did not expect business conditions to be drastically different in the next six months.

Along a one to 10 scale with one being "much worse" and 10 being "much better," 34 percent of respondents said they expected business conditions to be "a little better" in six months (a six on the scale), while 22 percent said they expected business conditions to be "a little worse" (a five on the scale), the Collingwood Group reported.

Many respondents said seasonal trends tend to affect their outlook on business conditions, such as one lender who reported that the winter months hurt production last year, and they expected that to be the case again this year.

Only about 3 percent of respondents said they thought business conditions would be much worse in six months, while only about 1 percent responded they thought business conditions would be much better, according to the Collingwood Group. A majority of respondents indicated "uncertainty, yet tepid optimism" regarding business conditions, the Collingwood Group said in the report.

The Collingwood Group reported that none of the survey respondents expected the results of the recent mid-term election to significantly impact the mortgage industry.

"I remain optimistic we’ll see a move towards collaboration," said Collingwood vice chairman Brian Montgomery. "The Republicans will hold both chambers for the first time in almost a decade so I suspect they’ll be anxious to move forward on a host of issues that go beyond housing finance reform."

Likewise, most survey respondents said there had been little change in business conditions since this time last year. Business conditions were either "a little worse" for 22 percent of respondents or "a little better" for 31 percent, according to the Collingwood Group. Overall, the numbers were almost split 50-50 when rating business conditions better or worse since last year—48 percent said they were worse while 52 percent said they were better, according to the Collingwood Group. About 4 percent said business conditions were much worse since last year, while about 1 percent said they were much better.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.

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