FHFA Brings Clarity to Residential Mortgage Statistics

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has published updated aggregate statistics from the National Mortgage Database (NMDB) and launched the NMDB Aggregate Statistics Dashboard—new data visualization tool for the NMDB Outstanding Residential Mortgage Statistics.

“The release of updated data will allow stakeholders to better understand emerging mortgage and housing market trends,” said FHFA Director Sandra L. Thompson. “Additionally, the new dashboard will ensure that information about the volume and characteristics of mortgages held by U.S. households is more easily accessible and available to the public.”

At the end of Q1 2024, the FHFA reported:

  • There were 50.8 million outstanding mortgages with unpaid balances totaling $11.7 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2024.
  • 9% of outstanding mortgages have interest rates below 3%, down slightly from a high of 24.6% in Q1 of 2022, as 14.3 of outstanding mortgages have interest rates of 6% or higher.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) account for 3.5% of outstanding mortgages, down from 9.6% one decade ago.
  • The median monthly payment among outstanding mortgages is $1,520.
  • The average credit score among borrowers with an active loan is 743.

Mining data

NMDB Aggregate Statistics include summary statistics derived by aggregating data in the NMDB. The NMDB is a de-identified database of closed-end first-lien residential mortgages, containing a nationally representative sample of mortgages in the U.S. To make NMDB statistics available to the general public, FHFA produces the NMDB Aggregate Statistics.

Publication of aggregate statistics from NMDB is a step toward carrying out the statutory requirements of Section 1324(c) of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). The statute requires FHFA to conduct a monthly mortgage market survey to collect data on the characteristics of individual mortgages, both GSE and non-GSE, and to make the data available to the public while protecting the privacy of the borrowers.

Latest FHFA data analysis

The FHFA and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently also published updated loan-level data for public use collected through the National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO). The data also provide updated mortgage performance and credit information for a nationally representative sample of mortgage borrowers from 2013 to 2021.

Since 2014, FHFA and CFPB have sent quarterly surveys to borrowers who recently obtained mortgages. These surveys gather feedback on borrowers’ experiences during the mortgage process, their perceptions of the mortgage market, and their future expectations. Today’s release adds one additional year of new mortgage data through 2021.

The data focused on three new survey questions first asked of mortgage borrowers in 2021:

  • When asked about appraisal satisfaction, 70% of respondents reported being very satisfied with their property appraisal, 23% reported being somewhat satisfied, and 6% were not at all satisfied.
  • When questioned on their willingness to move from their primary residence, 50% of respondents reported being unwilling to move, 20% were unsure about moving, 25% were willing and able to move, and 5% were willing but unable to move.
  • When prompted to select from a list of factors important to borrowers choosing a mortgage lender/broker, 8% of respondents selected accommodations for people with disabilities as an important factor in their choice.

The NSMO is a component of the NMDB, a comprehensive repository of mortgage loan information designed to support policymaking and research efforts and to help regulators better understand emerging mortgage and housing market trends.

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Eric C. Peck

MortgagePoint Managing Digital Editor Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career in New York City with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage finance space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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