HOME BORROWERS DON’T SHOP

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently published a blog article reporting the results of their National Survey of Mortgage Borrowers. Key findings from the survey include:

  • Almost half of consumers who take out a mortgage for home purchase fail to shop prior to application; that is, they seriously consider only a single lender or mortgage broker before choosing where to apply. The tendency to shop is somewhat higher among first-time homebuyers.
  • The primary source of information relied on by mortgage borrowers is their lender or broker, followed by a real estate agent. Fewer consumers obtain information from outside sources, such as websites, financial and housing counselors, or personal acquaintances (such as friends, relatives, or coworkers).
  • Most consumers report being “very familiar” with the types of mortgages, available interest rates, and the process of taking out a mortgage. Those who are unfamiliar with the mortgage process are less likely to shop and more likely to rely on real estate agents or personal acquaintances.
  • A sizeable share of borrowers report that factors not directly related to mortgage cost, including the lender or broker’s reputation and geographic proximity, are very important in their decision making. Borrowers who express such preferences are much less likely to shop.

Various conclusions can be drawn from the results of the survey. My conclusion is that consumers like to borrow from someone they trust, and they trust their local bankers.
The full survey is available here.

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