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Mortgage Bankers Forecast 7-Percent Lending Growth For 2015

Mortgage Loan Application

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that total home mortgage lending will increase 7 percent in 2015, driven largely by a sharp rise on new purchase loans.

For Notary signing agents who rely on mortgage refinance assignments, the news isn’t so rosy. The MBA anticipates that refi activity will drop by 3 percent, according to the association’s October Mortgage Finance Forecast.

Not everyone is as upbeat for 2015. Secondary mortgage giant Fannie Mae recently lowered its expectations for next year, projecting a 7.7-percent decline in overall lending activity despite an uptick in home purchases, according to its October Housing Forecast.

Home Purchase Lending

Overall, the MBA expects home purchase mortgage lending to jump 15 percent next year. Fannie’s Mae’s forecast projects an increase of 5.6 percent.

“The job market has shown sustained improvement this year; with robust monthly increases in both payroll jobs and job openings,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Research and Industry Technology. “Strong job growth, coupled with still low mortgage rates, should translate to an increase in home sales and purchase originations.

Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan is more cautiously optimistic. The improving labor market coupled with low mortgage rates, rising inventories, and some easing of lending standards will boost home sales only moderately, but enough to post the best performance since 2007.

In 2015, “housing will continue along its upward grind rather than have the breakout year some are expecting,” said Duncan.

Refinance Activity

Both organizations expect refinance activity to continue its downward slide during 2015: Fannie Mae projects a 29-percent plunge; the MBA a 3-percent decline.

The MBA, in fact, expects refinance activity to spike in the next few months.

Between the recent drop in mortgage rates and the home price gains of the last two years, “more homeowners have enough equity to refinance, so we expect a pickup in refinance application activity over the next few months, which will lead to higher refinance originations in early 2015,” Fratantoni said.

Michael Lewis is Managing Editor of member publications for the National Notary Association.

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1 Comment

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Lloyd Smith

10 Nov 2014

every time the feds start raising rate house crashes the economy goes in the dumper . I have seen the same predictions before . The business of Home sales will not stand a increase the economy can not handle it. ! Lloyd Smith

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