Politics & MoneyMortgage

Dodd-Frank continues to smother mortgage lending

ABA survey: 78% say less credit available, 1/3 only do QM

Ninety percent of the typical bank’s mortgage loans made last year were “qualified mortgages,” according to the American Bankers Association’s 22nd annual Real Estate Lending Survey.

The survey results, released today, revealed that nearly 80% of respondents expect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mortgage lending rules will continue to cause a reduction in credit availability with 19% characterizing the impact as severe.

“As expected, the ability-to-repay and QM rules have dampened the housing market recovery,” said Robert Davis, ABA executive vice president. “Combine that with new mortgage disclosures, which are just around the corner, and we’ll continue to see a slow down in what should be the ideal time to buy a home.”

The most likely reason for a mortgage loan not meeting QM standards was high debt-to-income levels followed by lack of required documentation.

Despite these setbacks, bankers can boast some positive results.

The 182 respondents, 77% with assets less than $1 billion, reported the highest percentage of loans to first-time homebuyers in the survey’s 22 year history.

Foreclosure rates at surveyed banks dropped from 0.78% in 2013 to 0.57% in 2014, while the average delinquency rate for single family homes decreased from 2.16% to 1.76%.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remains dominant in bank lending, holding steady at 50.5% of all loans in 2014 compared to 50.3% in 2013.

According to the survey, bankers are most concerned about compliance and increasing regulatory burden followed by economic uncertainty, the interest rate environment and community bank challenges. Eighty-seven percent of respondents said regulation is having a moderate to extreme negative impact on the bank’s business.

“June is American Housing Month and primetime for homebuyers. If you’re thinking about buying a home, my advice is to start by talking to your banker,” said Davis. “Your local banker knows the housing market in your community and can discuss your long-term financial goals to help you achieve the American dream of homeownership.”

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