Profit outlook for mortgage lenders fell for nine straight quarters in Q4 2018 as demand for loans to buy homes and to refinance existing mortgages declined, according to Fannie Mae's (OTCQB:FNMA -2.1%) Q4 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey.
Outlook for profit among lenders in Q4 reached and all-time survey low across all loan types -- GSE-eligible, non-GSE-eligible, and government.
Competition from other lenders was cited by survey participants as the top reason for their pessimism for the eighth consecutive quarter, while consumer demand was cited as the second most important reason.
For purchase mortgage demand, across all loan types the net shares of lenders reporting growth for the prior quarter reached the lowest reading for any Q4 in the survey's history.
For refinance mortgages, the net share of lenders reporting demand growth over the prior three months declined to the second-lowest level in the survey history for GSE-eligible and to the lowest level in the survey history for non-GSE-eligible loans.
Lenders' net profit margin outlook remained negative for the ninth consecutive quarter and reached a new survey low.
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