Fannie Mae’s quarterly Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey asks senior mortgage executives for their perceptions of the market and their forecast for the future. According to the most recent release, mortgage lenders point to an insufficient supply of homes available for sale as the primary reason for slow home sales growth last year.
In fact, 48 percent of responding lenders said that too few homes for sale held home buyers back, while higher prices was also a commonly cited factor. Similarly, when asked for suggestions for what could be done to improve affordability, almost half said increasing the supply of housing stock. In short, mortgage execs see low housing inventory as the market’s biggest issue.
This isn’t a surprise. There’s been a lower-than-typical number of homes for sale in recent years, which increases competition and pushes home prices upward. If more homes get built, it could help provide some relief to home buyers this year.