While the housing market continues to trudge along with few prospects of recovery in coming years, weak demand and low interest rates may be something of blessing for those looking to purchase a new home. According to a report released this week by J.D. Power and Associates, overall satisfaction with primary mortgage lenders has increased substantially since last year. Customer satisfaction this year averages 747 on a 1,000-point scale, up from 734 points from 2010. "The increase in customer satisfaction is driven by improvements in many of the key best practices, including proactive status updates, providing a time frame to expect and meeting it, and providing follow-up contact after the application is submitted," said David Lo, director of financial services at J.D. Power and Associates. The findings offer a substantial contrast to the mortgage servicing industry, Lo pointed out, as that sector has suffered significant declines in satisfaction over the same period. Many lenders and banks have begun employing background checks and credit reports
for mortgage and home renting applications, especially as the market trend toward more thorough risk management practices.