Are lenders ready to rumble?

June 15, 2018

Could lenders’ pain be your gain if you’re shopping for a home mortgage? Maybe. Though it hasn’t been in the headlines, some mortgage companies are having a challenging year. Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication, reports loan originations “tanked” during the first 3 months of 2018, hitting their lowest level in 3 years.

Possibly as a result, competition for new home-purchase loan applications is on the upswing. One bellwether: LendingTree, the popular online marketplace where banks and mortgage companies compete for borrowers’ business reports that shoppers for home loans are receiving significantly more offers on average through its lender network compared with a year ago.

Another indicator: Lenders appear to be offering slightly more attractive deals. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s mortgage credit availability index—which monitors credit score requirements, down payments and other key underwriting terms at major lenders—improved by 1.9% for conventional (non-government) mortgages in April. This suggests posted mortgage terms were slightly more favorable to consumers than they had been previously.

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