Markets & Economy

More than half of North American mortgage bankers worry housing bubble is forming

Canadian market showing more evidence of overheating than US

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A majority of North American mortgage bankers fear another real estate bubble is forming, according to a recent survey conducted for FICO, a predictive analytics software company. The survey found that 56 percent of a pool of American and Canadian respondents directly involved in mortgage lending expressed concern that "an unsustainable real estate bubble is inflating." Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO, said the housing market is "bifurcated" with strong price growth pushing total homeowner equity in the U.S. to its highest level since late 2007, even as 6 million people struggle with underwater loans that exceed the values of their homes by an average of 33 percent. "That doesn't feel like a healthy, sustainable growth situation," he said. "No wonder many lenders in both Canada and the U.S. are concerned about the risk in residential mortgages." The market's schizophrenic behavior may be troubling, but a survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Associatio...