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Survey Points to Stagnant Mortgage Market

Deloitte reports findings about credit, housing outlook

July 11, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

A new survey suggests borrowers, who now find it more difficult to obtain a mortgage, plan to hunker down and avoid purchasing or refinancing a home in the foreseeable future.

The report, announced today by Deloitte, surveyed 2,019 consumers between June 5 and June 9 about how their ability to obtain credit has been impacted over the past year. Deloitte commissioned the study from Harris Interactive.

Just over two-thirds of those who had applied for a mortgage indicated it had become more difficult, Deloitte said.

Of applicants who applied for a home-equity line-of-credit, just under two-thirds found it more difficult.

The share increased to more than three-quarters for small business financing applicants.

Deloitte noted that as banks are tightening credit requirements, consumers are cutting back on credit and "restricting spending and delaying large purchases."

The report found that 69 percent of those surveyed don't plan to refinance. In addition, three-fourths of the respondents indicated they are unlikely to make a home purchase during the next year because of the economy, while 69 percent have no intention of selling a home.

Deloitte suggested its findings point to "a continued stagnation in the housing market with both buyers and sellers reluctant to make a move."

Of the respondents with a mortgage, 6 percent reported making a late mortgage payment over the past year. Interestingly, only 2 percent of borrowers in Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada -- states that have been hardest hit by the mortgage crisis -- reported making a late mortgage payment, the consulting firm said.

The report indicated 62 percent of the respondents expect their financial situation will be better or the same this time next year as it is now.

"Business models are changing and some of the best-run banks are taking steps to strengthen their credit and mortgage businesses," Deloitte Consulting LLP principal Adam Schneider said in the release. "They recognize that when balance sheets are rebuilt they will have to restart lending, but are likely to be more conservative and focused on the most credit-worthy."

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