Posted Rates and Mortgage Lending Activity
In many metropolitan areas (MSAs) newspapers post mortgage terms for lenders in a manner designed to permit an easy comparison of discount points and note rates. Using these advertised rates for 73 lenders in three MSAs we examine 1) how applicants respond to short-run changes in relative rates, and 2) the relationship between the services provided and quality of applications received by lenders and their long-term market positions. We find that applicant flows increase when lenders lower their rates. We also find that persistent cross-lender differences in rates are associated with differences in product quality reflected in processing times, loan sales, and FHA/VA lending; and that high-risk borrowers tend to apply to lenders posting above-average rates. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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