U.S. mortgage lenders show "signs of optimism" in future demand, profit margin

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-14 13:44:50|Editor: Liu
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WASHINGTON, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Mortgage lenders in the United States expected a stronger mortgage demand and a better profit margin in the following months, the Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, said on Wednesday.

"While the results seem to portray the gloomiest picture of purchase mortgage demand during the prior three months in the survey's five-year history, the net share of lenders expecting rising demand over the next three months exceeded the level recorded in the same quarter last year," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

The survey also showed that mortgage lenders' outlook on net profit margin had stayed negative for the tenth consecutive quarter. But Fannie Mae said that the outlook had improved from the survey low.

"While more lenders anticipate declining rather than rising profit margins, continuing the trend that started in the fourth quarter of 2016, the net share expecting falling profit margins decreased from a survey high in the prior quarter to the lowest share in nearly two years," said Duncan.

For the outlook of the mortgage market in 2019, Fannie Mae expected that the volume would be relatively flat.

"Lenders' improved demand outlook going into the spring selling season bodes well for our forecast of relatively flat mortgage volume this year following the double-digit drop in 2018," Duncan added.