Mortgage rates are near their all-time lows, which is great for homebuyers, however banks are struggling to make a profit.
There is, however, a silver lining where banks can still make money in this low-rate environment, according to an article by Annamaria Andriotis for The Wall Street Journal.
From the article:
Banks could benefit from mortgages on two fronts. First, lenders are in an improving-volume environment thanks to a pickup in borrower demand for refinances and home purchases as rates have fallen. Total mortgage originations for the year are expected to hit $1.663 trillion, up 2% from 2015, the Mortgage Bankers Association forecast on June 20. That was the fifth time this year the group has raised its guidance; at the onset of 2016, it was forecasting a 15% decline.
The second positive development for banks: That mortgage rates haven’t come as far down as they could shows firms aren’t slashing prices and so eroding profits in the process. For the moment, banks can do so because rising volumes mean there is less pressure for them to do so.
To show exactly how mortgage banker profit has changed, this factsheet shows mortgage banker profit over the course of the past two years, using data from the Mortgage Bankers Association Quarterly Performance Report.