Mortgage Credit Loosening Based on Fannie Mae Survey

Mortgage lenders reported a loosening of credit standards across all loan types in a Fannie Mae survey, completed in Sept., 2015. Their third quarter2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey asked senior mortgage executives whether their credit standards had eased, tightened or remained the same for GSE eligible, non-GSE eligible and government loans within the third quarter of 2015.

The gap between lenders reporting credit easing versus credit tightening reached new survey highs at 20 percent for GSE-eligible loans and 18 percent for non-GSE eligible loans. Additionally, lenders reported expectations of greater credit easing over the next three months.

“For the first time in seven quarters, we see a pronounced increase in the share of lenders, particularly medium- and larger-sized lenders, reporting on net an easing of credit standards in both the GSE eligible and non-GSE eligible loan categories,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Overall, we expect that lenders’ tendency toward easing credit standards, together with relatively low mortgage rates and a strengthening labor market, will continue to support the housing market.”

Another marked finding in the survey was the discrepancy between lending executive views and the general public surveyed in Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey. Senior mortgage executives continue to be more optimistic about the economy, future home prices, and the ease of obtaining a mortgage than general consumers.