Fannie Mae housing survey: Buyers aren’t getting multiple mortgage quotes

Most homebuyers aren’t shopping for more than one mortgage quote, according to results from Fannie Mae’s recent National Housing Survey. Results over the past eight years have consistently shown that one-third of recent homebuyers obtained only one quote. Notably, first-time and repeat homebuyers showed little difference, with approximately one-third of both groups receiving only one quote across all years.

Of those who received multiple quotes, interest rate and monthly payment were the leading items homebuyers compared. Monthly payment was significantly more important to first-time homebuyers—the majority of whom tend to be younger and lower income—compared to repeat homebuyers. Closing cost estimates were the third-most important cost item to compare among recent homebuyers. In Q1 2022, the top two reasons mentioned by homebuyers who only received one quote were the same as cited in Q1 2019 and Q1 2014: Feeling most comfortable with the lender they received the quote from (39%) and satisfaction with the first quote they received (29%).

Recent survey results also showed that homebuyers’ negotiation of mortgage-related costs declined from 2019 to 2022. Only 33% of recent homebuyers surveyed in Q1 2022 tried to negotiate the mortgage rate, compared to 40% in Q1 2019. Discount points, mortgage insurance and appraisal fees were the other areas that homebuyers tried to negotiate, although to a lesser degree than mortgage rate. Less than 15% of homebuyers tried to negotiate each of these items in 2022, and a slightly higher percentage of homebuyers tried to negotiate those costs in 2019. According to the survey, the decrease in negotiating could be due to the historically low mortgage rate environment and highly competitive housing market homebuyers were experiencing when buying homes in 2021. It could also indicate that some consumers do not know they have the ability to negotiate.