2015 Shows Marked Improvement in Mortgage Applications
The following summarizes the Rate of Growth findings from our 2015 HMDA Survey:
Overall, survey participants show a 15.9% RoG with the Top 100 lenders (based on 2014 applications) showing a slightly lower RoG (14.9%). The table shows that Non-Bank lenders experienced the highest growth – approximately 30% – followed closely by Credit Unions at approximately 24%. The result for Bank lenders was not particularly surprising – slight improvement over 2014 rates but significantly lower than Non-Banks and Credit Unions. The spread between Top 100 Banks and all Banks is, however, interesting with larger banks reporting a 6.4% increase and smaller banks reporting an 8.1% increase.
In general, any response was a valid response with the minimum threshold being a statement that the data was available for inspection on sight or would be provided upon payment of a fee. We did, in some instances, pay a fee to acquire the data but the purpose in paying for the fee was to engage the lender, where possible, in a discussion about whether providing a thousand hard-copy pages via courier was the most efficient way to render the requested data (as compared to, say, a PDF file via email). We also noted that the fee ranged from $25 to almost $900 (with the variance not always attributable to the number of applications).
The highlight of the survey is direct contact with lenders. The majority of those we spoke with were professional, knowledgeable and genuinely interested in hearing the survey results. Only a handful of lenders indicated they would not provide the data, with only 1 or 2 those lenders saying they didn’t really care about what the rules required.
The following chart (click to expand) details selected participant dimensions:
The 2015 survey response rate (67%) was approximately the same as the response rate for our 2013 survey. While a 67% response rate is impressive by most measures, we were somewhat disappointed as our survey was primarily sent to 2013 survey respondents. Our focus on Top 100 Lenders was productive – with responses from 37 of 40 Banks, 38 of 55 Non-Banks, and 4 of 5 Credit Unions. It took a bit of effort to achieve this level of response as we found it to be a bit more challenging to find the point-of-contact for Non-Bank lenders compared to bank lenders. That said, some Non-Bank lenders were very helpful, with some even providing a bit too much data (we’ll leave it at that!).
Speaking of data, we again indicated that we would take the data in any form. The following chart (click to expand) shows that most lenders provided data in a “loadable format” (e.g., .DAT). Consistent with 2013, there were some instances of “literal compliance” where we received hundreds – and even thousands – of pages of hard copy printouts. (This would be a good time to thank the entire survey project team for honing their scanning and ETL skills!).
All in all, we had a great time conducting the survey and believe the undertaking provides lenders with significant benefit in connection with their Responsible Business Conduct protocols. All lenders have received their credentials to access and explore the data. If you participated and didn’t get credentials, give us a call (610.787.2455). If you received your credentials and need a refreshing on exploring and using the data, please (please!) give us a call or send an email to HMDA@mortgagetrueview.com.
With the “Big Picture” out of the way, we look forward to providing further posts with more details – and insights – from the 2015 HMDA Survey.