Data Show Surprisingly Little Impact of New Mortgage Rules

Urban Institute
Thursday, August 21, 2014

Despite the outcry surrounding the new Qualified Mortgage rule instituted in January, mortgage data have shown little evidence of change to the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae markets and minimal impact on the loans banks hold in portfolio. Researchers believed they would find a reduction in the number of interest-only loans, fewer loans to borrowers with high debt-to-income ratios, less small loans and reduced adjustable rate mortgage share. Instead, researchers saw each of these indicators remain relatively stable. The authors theorize that the rule’s impact was muted because credit standards had already been tight before the rule went into effect, and because most of the lending is being done through GSEs or Ginnie Mae, which are not yet subject to the rule.