making the best better

At Black Knight, we’re always looking for ways to raise the bar, and adding even more value to our public data reports certainly fits the bill. Beginning with our January 2023 First Look at monthly mortgage performance, our public reporting will incorporate the enhanced McDash loan level data set already available to contributors and client subscribers.

We take our role as a public provider of objective and unvarnished housing and mortgage market data and analysis very seriously. We’ve been through enough boom-and-bust cycles in the mortgage industry to understand just how important a role this is – to our industry, as well to the public, the media and the wider American economy.

Through good times and bad, Black Knight’s multiple publicly released data reports are of enormous value to stakeholders in the more than $12T mortgage market. In times of uncertainty and flux, a thorough understanding of the market becomes even more critical to understanding its shifting movements and navigating the implications. Rather than making assumptions based on anecdote or instinct, the data can show exactly if, when and where market contagion – or opportunity – may exist.

For those who may not be aware, McDash is an anonymized, voluntary servicer-contributed, loan-level data set. More than 80 servicers, using a variety of servicing platforms and representing a dynamic cross-section of the industry, actively contribute data to McDash monthly. Over the past several years, the number and makeup of McDash contributors has grown to match the changing market, significantly increasing our coverage of nonbank servicers as well as those with smaller portfolios.

These servicer contributors deliver batch updates, which the McDash team pulls into its standardized performance database. For servicers on Black Knight’s MSP servicing system who wish to contribute, the process is even simpler. An automated feed makes the timely transfer of anonymized loan level data from MSP a seamless event.

As a growing number of smaller servicers and credit unions have chosen MSP to power their servicing operations over the last several years, many have taken advantage of this opportunity to become enthusiastic McDash contributors at the same time. That said, many smaller servicers, nonbanks and credit unions that are not using MSP also see the value in being a part of this contributory database. Democratizing access to such an important industry resource has been a goal of ours for some years now.

As the data from each servicer is added into the mix, other contributors and McDash subscribers then have access to the full, raw but standardized, data. In recent years, that has grown to include loan-level detail on more than 200M active and historical mortgages. McDash currently has direct contributions representing more than 65% of all currently active mortgages.

In contrast, our public reporting is extrapolated to reflect the entirety of the active mortgage universe, based upon complex market sizing estimates that we revisit periodically. Since our last market sizing exercise, eMBS has become part of the Black Knight family, giving us the chance to match the hundreds of millions of loans in McDash against eMBS agency securities data. The result? An even more precise understanding of market breakdown. And this, in turn, has helped us better reflect the changes seen in the mortgage landscape these past several years.

Given the number of people who rely on Black Knight’s public reporting, we’ve spent the better part of the last year in stringent quality control mode before incorporating this expansion into our public reporting. That’s meant validating data lines up with observed trends and updating historical records back to the start of the century. It’s been a long haul, but we take our commitment to data integrity seriously.

We look forward to continuing to provide our clients, the industry at large and all interested observers with the very best mortgage and housing-related data analysis. Rolling the McDash enhancements and expansions already available to our clients into our public reporting will put us in an even stronger position to do so. Given the fundamental changes in the market’s makeup and as the industry and wider economy move ahead into an uncertain future, this additional visibility couldn’t come at a more important time.

Stay tuned.


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