Mortgage lenders are eager to make home loans this year but consumers may be more hesitant to borrow.
Sixty-five percent of respondents to a Mortgage Bankers Association survey of lenders said that they would have a "very strong" appetite to make home loans this year. But just 23% of the top 50 commercial and multifamily-mortgage origination firms polled in the survey said that consumers would have an equally strong interest in borrowing.
The mortgage market will grow in 2014 despite the rift between borrowers and lenders, according to the survey results, released Wednesday. Ninety-one percent of respondents expect loan originations to increase in 2014, with 48% predicting an increase of 5% or more. Roughly two-thirds (64%) expect their own companies to benefit with an increase of 5% or more in loan originations.
"Commercial and multifamily lenders anticipate a market in which lending continues to grow and their firm gets a bigger piece of the pie," Jamie Woodwell, MBA's vice president for commercial real estate research, said in a press release Wednesday.
Seventy-four percent said they expected "medium" returns on loans.
Moderate returns may encourage lenders to take on more risk. A strong majority of respondents (89%) said that mortgage loans made in 2014 will fall in the "medium" to "somewhat high" risk categories. Last year, the overwhelming majority (88%) predicted that loans made in 2013 would be "medium" to "somewhat low" risk.
The 2014 MBA CREF Outlook Survey was conducted between Dec. 11 and Dec. 20, and it had a 64% response rate.