Fannie's origination estimates rise despite hurricanes' impact

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Fannie Mae revised its estimates for 2017 origination volume upward this month, noting that it expects economic strengths to offset weakness in the market from recent hurricanes.

"For the first time in 2017, we have increased our full-year growth outlook. The upgrade reflects economic activity gaining momentum at the end of the second quarter, though we see a great deal of uncertainty,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan in a press release.

Fannie is now projecting that originations this year will total $1.679 trillion, up slightly from the $1.666 trillion it forecast in August.

The Mortgage Bankers Association also increased its 2017 origination forecast slightly to $1.659 trillion from $1.627 trillion due to strength in the economic outlook, increasing household formation and housing demand.

The outlook for refinancing this year also is a little more optimistic. Fannie estimates refinance volume will total $601 billion, up from its forecast of $586 billion last month. The MBA's latest forecast calls for $571 billion, up from its previous $538 billion estimate.

Forecasts for the refinance share also are higher, but still suggest mortgage lenders continue to operating in what is increasingly a purchase-dominated market.

Fannie's latest estimate calls for refis to account for 36% of the market this year, up from the 35% it forecast last month. The MBA estimates that refinancing will account for 34% of originations in the market this year, up from its forecast of 33% in August.

Overall volumes are still on track to be lower than last year, when Fannie recorded $2.052 trillion in total single-family originations and the MBA figures show home loans totaled $1.891 trillion.

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Purchase Refinance GSEs Economic indicators Fannie Mae Mortgage Bankers Association