Fannie Mae released its first quarter 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey today, revealing mortgage lenders outlook towards lending activities and market expectation is improving. Compared to the first and fourth quarter of last year, results show more lenders expect mortgage demand and their profit margin to grow over the next three months. Of the senior mortgage executives surveyed, 69 percent said they felt the economy was on the right track.
“The first quarter results mirror a similar trend among American households, as shown in our recently released National Housing Survey data," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "These results are consistent with our view that an improving economy, strengthening employment, and increasing consumer confidence should support a modest housing expansion in 2015, after an uneven and disappointing year for housing activity in 2014."
Mortgage lenders continue to be more optimistic about the future of home prices compared to consumers, according to the survey. About 62 percent of survey participants said they felt home prices would go up, higher than the 46 percent of consumers surveyed in the National Housing Survey. That’s a 12 percent increase from the 50 percent surveyed in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 2 percent higher than the first quarter of 2014 number. Only about 3 percent said they think prices will go down, while 33 percent thought prices would stay the same.
Senior mortgage executives are less optimistic about the ease of getting a mortgage today compared to consumers. More than 70 percent of executives said getting a mortgage today is difficult compared to 43 percent of consumers. Almost 55 percent of consumers said they thought getting a mortgage was easy compared to 28 percent of executives surveyed.
The share of lenders outlook on profit margins has improved significantly since last year. Over 40 percent of the share of institutions believes profit margins will increase in the next 3 months, that’s an increase of almost double the amount surveyed this time last year. About 13 percent surveyed profits would increase in the fourth quarter of 2014. About 50 percent of the share think profits will stay about the same, and a low 10 percent think profits will decrease.