According to survey results released by the Collingwood Group this week, 33 percent of mortgage lenders, servicers, and other industry professionals believe business conditions are "a little better" than they were last year. That compares to 31 percent of respondents who said the same thing in October.
As with October, more than half of those surveyed said conditions are either a little worse or a little better, "signaling that the industry has not seen a significant improvement or decline over the last year," the Collingwood Group said.
According to the firm, comments offered from lenders mostly point to more stable and consistent purchase volumes, though some also said they've had a better experience packaging and selling mortgages as a result of regulatory guidelines implemented this year.
"[Qualified mortgage] and [ability-to-repay rules] have affected our ability to sell loans on the secondary market and directly to Freddie Mac which has increased our portfolio production by twenty-five percent this year," one anonymous respondent said.
On the other hand, those citing worse conditions said they are struggling to contend with lower average loan amounts and more underwriting challenges.
The six-month outlook was slightly improved compared to October, with 64 percent of professionals expecting business conditions to improve.