Morning Briefing: Mortgage credit availability easing says Fannie

by MPA17 Sep 2015
Mortgage credit availability easing says Fannie
The latest survey of mortgage lenders by Fannie Mae shows that lending restrictions eased in August. The poll of senior mortgage executives also reveals that they are generally more optimistic than general consumers about the economy, future home prices and the ease of getting a mortgage today.

“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. This is a significant result in light of public discourse on credit availability and standards,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.
Mortgage applications 7 per cent lower last week
The level of new mortgage applications fell for the week ending Sept. 11 2015 compared to the week earlier. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s analysis found that on an adjusted basis there were 7 per cent fewer applications even taking into consideration the Labor Day holiday.

On an unadjusted basis, the weekly index decreased 17 per cent; the Refinance Index decreased 9 per cent; the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 per cent; the unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 16 per cent.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 56.2 per cent of total applications from 56.9 per cent the previous week. ARM decreased to 6.8 per cent; FHA share increased to 14.2 per cent from 13.4 per cent; VA share decreased to 10.7 per cent from 10.8 per cent; and the USDA share remained unchanged at 0.8 per cent.
Builder confidence still rising
The National Association of Home Builders says that the confidence of its members continues to rise. In its latest Housing Market Survey in conjunction with mortgage lender Wells Fargo, the association’s index rose 1 point to 62 per cent confidence in the market for newly-constructed single-family homes. That’s the highest reading since October 2005.

"NAHB is projecting about 1.1 million total housing starts this year,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Today's report is consistent with our forecast, and barring any unexpected jolts, we expect housing to keep moving forward at a steady, modest rate through the end of the year.”

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West and Midwest each rose one point to 64 and 59, respectively. The South posted a one-point gain to 64 and the Northeast dropped one point to 46.



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