Surveys - Special Topics

In our Special Topics series, we look closely at data collected through our National Housing Survey®, Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey®, and customized research to explore specific trends, challenges, and opportunities facing consumers and mortgage lenders in today’s housing market.


Lack of Mortgage Focus Complicates Home Purchase: An Ethnographic Study Among Low- and Moderate-Income Households
May 24, 2018
In our prior research, consumers with fewer financial assets reported that the biggest barriers to homeownership were saving for the down payment and having insufficient credit history. The research also showed that many consumers were unaware of lenders' requirements or focused too heavily on the home search rather than the mortgage search. In a new study, we employed a more qualitative ethnographic approach to further interpret the survey findings: By following a small group of low- and moderate-income households over a period of months as they went through the mortgage process from start to finish, we gain additional insights into the home purchase struggles they face.
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How Will the Gig Economy Shape Mortgage Lending?
May 16, 2018
On-demand gig economy services such as transportation, lodging, food delivery, and personal task services are growing and reshaping how we think about work and self-employment. We surveyed mortgage lenders to better understand the role of gig economy income in the mortgage underwriting process.
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Consumers' Security Concerns a Barrier for Digital Identity
February 20, 2018
A standardized digital identify – an electronically verified set of attributes that uniquely describe a person – can improve, simplify, and accelerate identity-dependent transactions, including buying or renting a home. But given the growing number and severity of personal data breaches, consumers have significant concerns about the safety and security of digital identity. We recently surveyed U.S. consumers to learn about their perceptions of and comfort levels with digital financial identity.
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Mortgage Data Initiatives: Setting the Stage for Digital Disruption
January 24, 2018
Digital innovation is disrupting almost every industry. The mortgage industry is no exception. Since mortgage processes involve transmitting large volumes of data among interconnected players, new initiatives have been rolled out to establish or update data standards/datasets, transmission protocols, and platforms across the industry. We surveyed senior mortgage executives in Q4 2017 to understand lenders' views and experiences with these data management and standardization initiatives.
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More People Work in the Gig Economy Than You Might Think – and Many Want to Own Homes
December 5, 2017
The online, on-demand economy for services such as ride sharing, accommodation sharing, and others – known as the gig economy – is growing. We surveyed consumers through our Q3 2017 National Housing Survey to understand the extent of that growth and how it may impact attitudes towards homeownership.
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As Lenders Digitize, Borrowers Still Want the "Human Touch"
October 30, 2017
We surveyed mortgage lenders to better understand their strategies and views regarding both digital and person-to-person customer service channels. The results show that lenders’ evolving channel focus might not be well-aligned with homebuyer preferences.
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Lenders and Real Estate Agents Still Beat Online Sources as Top Mortgage Influencers… For Now
October 19, 2017
To better understand how both online and direct/personal sources of information influence the mortgage shopping experience, we surveyed recent homebuyers about their experiences with real estate agents, mortgage lenders, friends and family, and online resources such as mobile apps, websites, and social media.
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Renters Report Future Home Buying Optimism, While Family Financial Assistance Is Most Available to Populations with Higher Homeownership Rates
September 28, 2017
According to our Q3 2016 National Housing Survey® special topic results, the vast majority of renters reported an expectation to buy a home someday, but nearly half saw the down payment as one of the biggest obstacles to getting a mortgage. We set out to better understand these results, as well as the role of family financial assistance in first-time home buying.
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Mortgage Lenders Shift Focus to Enhancing the Consumer Experience
August 23, 2017
In our June Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey® results, lenders reported subdued mortgage demand growth, a pessimistic profit margin outlook, and strong concerns about increased competition. Against this challenging backdrop, we simultaneously surveyed lenders to understand their 2017 business priorities as well as their risk concerns.
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APIs Are Reshaping Business Strategy
May 18, 2017
Businesses are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and distributed ledger technology (also known as “blockchain”) to reduce errors and costs, speed up transactions, and drive richer and better customer service. We surveyed senior mortgage executives to learn about lenders' views on data strategy and technological innovation in general, and, specifically, to understand their experience with APIs and Chatbots.
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Integration: Key to Future Mortgage Technology Success
March 13, 2017
A new generation of companies has emerged over the past few years to transform mortgage origination and servicing by digitizing transactions and removing manual steps. Their goal is to more closely align the consumer and lender experience with current online leaders, such as Amazon and Uber. We surveyed senior mortgage executives through our unique quarterly Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey® to understand lenders’ views of and experiences with next-gen technology service providers in the housing and mortgage space. We found that lenders do see new technology as the key to improving the customer experience but many face significant barriers in adopting and integrating these tools.
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Recent homebuyers are flocking to mobile mortgage resources and may encourage new mortgage market entrants
December 5, 2016
Consumers’ mobile experiences with leaders such as Amazon are reshaping their expectations in all aspects of their lives, including their financial and mortgage activities. To better understand the impact of mobile technology on the consumer mortgage experience, we surveyed 1,200 low- and moderate-income homebuyers about their recent mortgage shopping and origination activities.
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