The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released yesterday data on mortgage lending at institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) — a total of just under 6,000 banks, credit unions and non-bank mortgage lenders.  Concurrently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a “first look” report on mortgage market activity and trends based on a selection of the newly released data.

As the CFPB points out, this year’s release is notable for two reasons, among others:

  • First, it reflects recent changes to the CFPB’s Regulation C, which generally exempted institutions from HMDA reporting if, in either of the two preceding calendar years, they originated less 25 reportable home purchase loans (including refinancings).  This contributed to a modest 13% decline in the number of participating institutions.  (We previously discussed other aspects of the CFPB’s amendments to Regulation C, including in these posts.)
  • Second, it reflects the first year during which HMDA data will be available in a dynamically updated format through the FFIEC HMDA Platform.

The 2017 HMDA data will be analyzed by regulators, economists and industry and consumer advocates over the coming weeks and months.  But the CFPB’s first look report pointed to a number of interesting early insights, including a continuation of the trend of growth in the market share of non-depository independent mortgage companies.  These companies now account for 56.1 percent of first-lien, owner-occupied, site-built home-purchase loans, up from 53.3 percent in 2016.  It remains to be seen whether this trend, which many have attributed to heightened regulation of mortgage lending by banks in the aftermath of the financial crisis, may reverse itself as supervisory approaches evolve under newly appointed bank regulators.

Overall, the data showed continued growth in home purchase originations, which are at their highest level since 2007.  Conversely, the sector saw a sharp fall in refinance originations, resulting in a fall in total originations.