CFPB and FHFA Release Updated Data from the National Survey of Mortgage Originations for Public Use

MortgageImage by Augusto Ordóñez
Data Highlights Borrowers’ Experiences Obtaining a Mortgage

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently published updated loan-level data for public use collected through the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO). The data provide insights into borrowers’ experiences obtaining residential mortgages.

Since 2014, FHFA and CFPB have sent surveys each quarter to borrowers who had recently obtained mortgages. These surveys gather feedback on borrowers’ experiences during the process of getting a mortgage, their perceptions of the mortgage market, and their future expectations. The release adds two additional years of new mortgage data through 2019.

Key highlights of the data include:

  • The percent of survey respondents who reported not being concerned about qualifying for a mortgage during the application process increased somewhat from 2018 to 2019 (from 48 to 51 percent for home purchase mortgages and 57 to 66 percent for refinances).
  • The percent of survey respondents who reported a paperless online mortgage process being important in choosing the mortgage lender/broker remained relatively high and unchanged from 2018 to 2019 (40 percent for home purchase mortgages and 44 percent for refinances).
  • The percent of survey respondents who reported applying for a mortgage through a mortgage broker increased from 2018 to 2019 (from 42 to 46 percent for home purchase mortgages and 30 to 38 percent for refinances). On the other hand, the percent of survey respondents who applied directly through a bank or credit union decreased from 2018 to 2019 (from 54 to 49 for home purchase mortgages and 67 to 61 for refinances).

“The NSMO data released… sets a baseline about how borrowers viewed the mortgage process just prior to the COVID crisis,” said FHFA Deputy Director Lynn Fisher. “Releasing this data to the public helps promote an understanding of the specific challenges and successes that borrowers experienced during the mortgage process.”

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“Hearing directly from borrowers is key to helping us better understand mortgage market trends,” said Mark McArdle, CFPB Assistant Director for Mortgage Markets. “The data collected in this survey will provide us with a fuller picture of borrowers’ experiences and will improve the lending process for future borrowers.”

The NSMO is a component of the National Mortgage Database (NMDB®), the first comprehensive repository of detailed mortgage loan information designed to support policymaking and research efforts and to help regulators better understand emerging mortgage and housing market trends.

The NMDB is designed to fulfill the requirements of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). HERA mandated that FHFA conduct a monthly mortgage survey of all residential mortgages, including those not eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Dodd-Frank Act mandated that CFPB monitor the primary mortgage market, in part through the use of the survey data.

Access the NSMO Public Use File here.

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