MBA 2020 Economic and Morgage Forecast: Forecasting 0.9% GDP Growth in 2020

From the MBA: MBA 2020 Forecast: Purchase Originations to Increase 1.6 Percent to $1.29 Trillion

MBA forecasts total mortgage originations will come in around $2.06 trillion this year – the best since 2007 ($2.31 trillion) – before likely decreasing to around $1.89 trillion in 2020. In 2021, MBA expects purchase originations to total around $1.33 trillion, and refinance originations to reach $432 billion ($1.74 trillion total).

Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Research and Industry Technology, says geopolitical uncertainty and a slowdown in the global economy combined to be the driving force behind this year’s increased financial market volatility and drop in interest rates. He expects these headwinds to continue, which will lead to slower economic growth in the United States next year.

“Interest rates will, on average, remain lower for longer given the somewhat cloudy economic outlook. These lower rates will in turn support both purchase and refinance origination volume in 2020,” said Fratantoni. “Lower-than-expected mortgage rates gave the refinance market a significant boost this year, resulting in it being the strongest year of volume since 2016. Given the capacity constraints in the industry, some of this refinance activity will spill into the first half of next year.”

After multiple years of home-price growth above wage gains, several markets in 2019 saw a slight slowdown in price appreciation. Fratantoni expects to see further deceleration in the next few years, as additional housing supply comes on the market.

“Moderating price growth is healthy, as it allows household incomes to catch up with home values. This improvement in affordability will lead to more home sales – especially given the rise in household formation and growing demand from first-time homebuyers,” said Fratantoni.

Here are Fratantoni’s economic forecast. Note that he is expecting GDP to slow to 0.9% next year (2020), and to be especially sluggish in the first half of next year.

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