The Milliman Mortgage Default Index (MMDI) is a lifetime default rate estimate calculated at the loan level for a portfolio of single-family mortgages. For the purposes of this index, default is defined as a loan that is expected to become 180 days or more delinquent over the life of the loan.1 The results of the MMDI reflect the most recent data acquisition available from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, with measurement dates starting from January 1, 2014.
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Click here to explore the MMDI data on a more granular level, including loan origination and type.
Mortgage originations have decreased for a consecutive fourth quarter. Mortgage originations are at their lowest levels since 2019 (pre-pandemic) with refinance originations at their lowest levels since 2014, when Milliman started tracking this data.
The index value of the MMDI was 3.53% for loans acquired in 2022 Q4 which is consistent with the 2022 Q3 index value. Figure 1 provides the quarter-end index results, segmented by purchase and refinance.
Figure 1: MMDI 2022 Q4 dashboard for GSE loans
Summary of trends
Over 2022 Q4, our latest MMDI results show that mortgage risk has remained steady for Freddie and Fannie acquisitions. There are three components of the MMDI: measures for borrower risk, underwriting risk, and economic risk. Borrower risk measures the risk of the loan defaulting due to borrower credit quality, initial equity position, and debt-to-income ratio. Underwriting risk measures the risk of the loan defaulting due to mortgage product features such as amortization type, occupancy status, and other factors. Economic risk measures the risk of the loan defaulting due to historical and forecasted economic conditions. Overall, there was a slight increase in economic risk from 2022 Q3, but that increase in economic risk was offset by a decrease in borrower risk and underwriting risk.
BORROWER RISK RESULTS: 2022 Q4
For government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) loans, borrower risk decreased from 1.61% in 2022 Q3 to 1.57% in 2022 Q4 with purchase loans making up about 83% of total originations compared to 80% last quarter. Borrower FICO Scores and LTV have improved slightly when comparing 2022 Q3 to 2022 Q4 which results in a slightly improved borrower risk.
UNDERWRITING RISK RESULTS: 2022 Q4
Underwriting risk represents additional risk adjustments for property and loan characteristics such as occupancy status, amortization type, documentation types, loan term, and others. Underwriting risk after the global financial crisis remains low and is negative for purchase mortgages, which are generally full-documentation, fully amortizing loans. For refinance loans, the data is segmented into cash-out refinance loans and rate/term refinance loans. Historically, the majority of refinance activity are for rate/term refinance mortgages. In the most recent quarter, approximately 77% of refinance originations are cash-out refinance loans . This is because recent increases in interest rates have made rate/term refinance non-economic. Cash-out refinance loans are assigned a greater default risk and are contributing to increases in underwriting risk for refinance loans.
ECONOMIC RISK RESULTS: 2022 Q4
Economic risk is measured by looking at historical and forecasted home prices. For GSE loans, economic risk increased from 1.90% in 2022 Q3 to 1.96% in 2022 Q4. Actual home price appreciation was robust from 2014 through 2021, which has resulted in embedded appreciation for older originations. This results in reduced default risk for older cohorts. For more recent cohorts, we anticipate negative home price growth, which contributes to increases in economic risk for recent origination years.
Figure 2 shows the economic risk component of the MMDI for GSE mortgages as of 2022 Q3 and 2022 Q4.
Figure 2: Economic risk by investor and origination
We notice from the chart that economic risk has remained steady for older originations, while economic risk for newer originations has sharply increased as we anticipate slower to negative home price growth in the future. For more information on the housing market, please refer to our recent Milliman Insight article, “The housing market is slowing down...what does that mean?” available at https://www.milliman.com/en/insight/housing-market-is-slowing-down-what-does-that-mean. This publication of the MMDI uses the most recent data available to provide timely information on credit trends.
The MMDI reflects a baseline forecast of future home prices. To the extent actual or baseline forecasts diverge from the current forecast, future publications of the MMDI will change accordingly.
For more detail on the MMDI components of risk, visit milliman.com/MMDI.
About the Milliman Mortgage Default Index
Milliman is expert in analyzing complex data and building econometric models that are transparent, intuitive, and informative. We have used our expertise to assist multiple clients in developing econometric models for evaluating mortgage risk both at the point of sale and for seasoned mortgages.
The Milliman Mortgage Default Index (MMDI) uses econometric modeling to develop a dynamic model that is used by clients in multiple ways, including analyzing, monitoring, and ranking the credit quality of new production, allocating servicing sources, and developing underwriting guidelines and pricing. Because the MMDI produces a lifetime default rate estimate at the loan level, it is used by clients as a benchmarking tool in origination and servicing. The MMDI is constructed by combining three important components of mortgage risk: borrower credit quality, underwriting characteristics of the mortgage, and the economic environment presented to the mortgage. The MMDI uses a robust data set of over 30 million mortgage loans, which is updated frequently to ensure it maintains the highest level of accuracy.
Milliman is one of the largest independent consulting firms in the world and has pioneered strategies, tools, and solutions worldwide. We are recognized leaders in the markets we serve. Milliman insight reaches across global boundaries, offering specialized consulting services in mortgage banking, employee benefits, healthcare, life insurance and financial services, and property and casualty (P&C) insurance. Within these sectors, Milliman consultants serve a wide range of current and emerging markets. Clients know they can depend on us as industry experts, trusted advisers, and creative problem-solvers.
Milliman's Mortgage Practice in Milwaukee is dedicated to providing strategic, quantitative, and other consulting services to leading organizations in the mortgage banking industry. Past and current clients include many of the nation's largest banks, private mortgage guaranty insurers, financial guaranty insurers, institutional investors, and governmental organizations.
1 For example, if the MMDI is 10%, then we expect 10% of the mortgages originated in that month to become 180 days or more delinquent over their lifetimes.