Solidifi Releases Results from its 2023 Consumer Mortgage Experience Survey(1) and the Solidifi 2023 Future Plans of Homeowners Survey(2)
BUFFALO, NY and PHILADELPHIA, PA (October 16, 2023) – The fifth annual national survey(1) commissioned by Solidifi U.S. Inc. (“Solidifi”) revealed that market factors have created an environment for disruption in the mortgage market. Yet extraordinary in-person experiences continue to drive increased customer satisfaction levels and future business.
“With increased interest rates, loyalty took a back seat to price, and borrowers are rate shopping,” said Solidifi President Loren Cooke. “This year’s survey showed a dramatic decline in the number of borrowers who got a new mortgage with their existing lender; however, customers with deep relationships remained loyal to their existing lender. There continues to be a strong correlation between higher customer satisfaction and the likelihood to use the same lender again: 78% of very satisfied customers are very likely to use their lender again up from 60% in 2022 – making an enhanced customer experience increasingly important to securing business in the future.”
This year, alongside the annual Solidifi 2023 Consumer Mortgage Experience Survey, we conducted the Solidifi 2023 Future Plans of Homeowners Survey(2) to explore how market conditions influence borrowers’ future real estate plans. The Solidifi 2023 Future Plans Survey revealed that while affordability is an increasing concern, many borrowers are adjusting their expectations and are willing to compromise to be able to buy a home for their family to grow and thrive.
“The impact of higher interest rates, rising home prices and supply constraints continues to shock the housing market,” said Cooke. “Despite this, homeowners continue to show resilience in these challenging times and are moving forward with their long-term plans to invest in their future through real estate. Future buyers are more intent than in previous years to purchase in the next three to five years but are adjusting their expectations or delaying their short-term plans. And, while there is growing demand to buy a home, many future buyers do not know how to make it happen, especially in underserved markets – uncovering an opportunity for lenders to educate borrowers on steps to achieve homeownership in this environment.”
The lasting impact of the flexible work environments and gig economy is evident; fewer people are moving for work. Results reveal that people are moving for an overall better quality of life – driven by a combination of the need for more space inside and outside of the home, larger homes or homes with different features, or to be close to things they care about. There is a desire to move to more suburban areas continuing the urban sprawl of America. In contrast, future borrowers in underserved, urban markets desire to purchase where they currently reside.
In 2023, life events continue to drive mortgage decisions with 67% of those who refinanced or obtained a home equity loan or line of credit, borrowing for home improvements and/or to access cash for life events. In fact, those accessing cash for life events doubled in the last year with the most common reasons being to care for an aging relative, cover education expenses, or because of a new job.
The Solidifi 2023 Consumer Mortgage Experience Survey surveyed 1,000+ residential borrowers 18 years of age or older in the United States who purchased, refinanced or closed on a home equity loan or line of credit within the last two years, to assess two critical touchpoints in the mortgage transaction: the appraisal and the closing experience. The survey took a comprehensive look at the borrower’s experience from what drives their decision-making to how their satisfaction results in future business for lenders. The results reaffirmed findings of the past four years and revealed actionable takeaways across transaction types on how to increase customer satisfaction and create loyal brand advocates to secure future business.
“Reaffirming results from the past four years, borrowers continue to value in-person interactions for both the appraisal and closing,” said Cooke. “Across generations, borrowers continue to prefer face-to-face engagement for the single most significant financial transaction in their life. Borrowers want a greater level of trust and care for such a large investment.”
Results indicate that 80% of respondents prefer an in-person closing, and six in seven borrowers feel it is important to have a closing agent in person. Of the 80% who prefer face-to-face interactions: 58% prefer a paper process, 18% prefer in-person with fully electronic documents, and 25% prefer an in-person hybrid process.
“Borrowers continue to prefer digital upfront in the process, but this preference has not yet extended to the closing. This year, results indicate there are opportunities to bring awareness, adoption and acceptance of digital tools at different points in the process. These will be increasingly important in a tightening market to help reduce costs while continuing to drive an extraordinary customer experience,” Cooke concludes.
To download the full survey results, visit: go.solidifi.com/2023mortgageexperiencesurvey.
In the Solidifi 2023 Consumer Mortgage Experience Survey, Market Street Research surveyed 1,000+ residential borrowers 18 years of age or older in the United States who purchased, refinanced or closed on a home equity loan or line of credit within the last two years. Panelists included a mix of those who purchased a home, refinanced or obtained a home equity loan or line of credit with approximately one-third closing within the past year, and two-thirds closing one to two years ago.
In the Solidifi 2023 Future Plans of Homeowners Survey, Market Street Research surveyed 1,200+ residential borrowers 18 years of age or older in the United States who are a current homeowner, have previously owned a home, or are intent on owning a home at some point in the future. Panelists included a mix of future buyers across the U.S. and those in underserved markets.
Both surveys were fielded using Snap Surveys, and the panels were sourced from Dynata. Fielding was executed July – August 2023.