Federal Housing Finance Agency Print
Home / Data & Tools / Data / National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO) Public Use File

​National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO) Public Use File

The National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO) is a component of the National Mortgage Database (NMDB®) program.  It is a quarterly mail survey jointly funded and managed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  NSMO provides unique and rich information for a nationally representative sample of newly originated closed-end first-lien residential mortgages in the United States, particularly about borrowers’ experiences getting a mortgage, their perceptions of the mortgage market, and their future expectations.  This voluntary survey is administered by Westat, a survey and data collection corporation, to the borrowers associated with the sample mortgages.  The respondents can either return the English questionnaire by mail or complete the survey online in English or Spanish. 

NSMO draws its sample from newly originated mortgages that are part of the NMDB, which is a 1-in-20 sample of closed-end first-lien residential mortgages newly reported to one of the three national credit bureaus.  Beginning with mortgages originated in 2013, a simple random sample of about 6,000 mortgages per quarter is drawn for NSMO from loans newly added to the NMDB.

This is the first NSMO public use file release based on the first 15 quarterly waves of the survey.  It contains data for 24,847 sample mortgages originated from 2013 through 2016 based on more than 6,000 returned surveys per year.  On average, each survey record in the file represents 1,116 new mortgages originated during this period.


  • The NSMO survey has been conducted quarterly since the first quarter of 2014.  The 24th wave of the survey went into the field on November 4, 2019.  The survey package sent to the respondents can be viewed here.

  • The NSMO public use file will be updated with additional data in December 2019.  To be notified of this data release, please email nsmo@fhfa.gov or visit our input page and select National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO) as the topic and reach out to us.

Proposed Questionnaire Change

We would like to hear your comments on two proposed changes to the NSMO questionnaire by November 30, 2019. 

We are proposing to delete the following question from the NSMO questionnaire.  Responses to it have been inconsistent and this information is now available from the NMDB data.

39. How did the total amount of your new mortgage(s) compare to the total of the old mortgage(s) and loan(s) you paid off?

    • New amount is lower
    • New amount is about the same
    • New amount is higher
    • Property was mortgage-free

We are also proposing to consolidate the following questions in the NSMO questionnaire into two new questions asked only of respondents who speak a language other than English at home:

Current questions:
14. How important were each of the following in choosing the mortgage lender/broker you used for the mortgage you took out?               
Could provide documents in my primary language, which is not English

        • Important
        • Not important

20. In the process of getting this mortgage from your mortgage lender/broker, did you…
Get documents in your primary language, which is not English

        • Yes
        • No

Have the lender/broker translate in your primary language, which is not English

        • Yes
        • No

Consolidated questions:

Would you have preferred to get your mortgage documents in a language other than English?

    • Yes
    • No

Were you able to get mortgage documents in your preferred language?

    • Yes
    • No

If you have questions or comments on the proposed changes to the NSMO questionnaire, please email nsmo@fhfa.gov or visit our input page and select National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO) as the topic and reach out to us.



The Public Use File (PUF) is available in several formats. By ​downloading and using the following data files, you are acknowledging​ that you have read and agreed to the Notice of Monitoring and Terms of Service​.

Link to Public Use File​ (2/12/2019)

Errata Note​ (2/12/2019)


SAS Labels (2/12/2019)

SAS Formats​ (2/12/2019)


NSMO Technical Documentation​ (2/12/2019)

Codebook and Tabulations​ (2/12/2019)


Waves  15 to 18 (2017 Quarter 3 to 2018 Quarter 2)​

Waves 13 and 14 (2017 Quarters 1 and 2)

Waves 11 and 12 (2016 Quarters 3 and 4)

Wave 10 (2016 Quarter 2)

Wave 9 (2016 Quarter 1)

Wave 8 (2015 Quarter 4)

Wave 7 (2015 Quarter 3)

Waves 5 and 6 (2015 Quarters 1 and 2)

Wave 4 (2014 Quarter 4)

Wave 3 (2014 Quarter 3)​

Waves 1 and 2 (2014 Quarters 1 and 2)

Errata Note

2/12/2019: The version 1.1 of PUF replaced version 1.0 of PUF on February 12, 2019. The following variables were updated: analysis_weight, rate_spread, metro_lmi, and the z-variables. Both the NSMO Technical Documentation and the Codebook and Tabulations were updated to reflect those changes.

12/20/2018: The PUF and related Codebook and Tabulations were modified on December 20, 2018 to correct coding error for five variables (first_mort_r, first_mort_s, first_mort_o1, first_mort_o2, and first_mort_o3).In the previous file, the value for “Yes” was miscoded as 2 instead of 1 and the value for “No” was miscoded as 1 instead of 2.


If you would like to be notified about updates to the data or document, or have questions or comments, please email nsmo@fhfa.gov or visit our input page​ and select National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO) as the topic.

Page last updated:  February 3, 2020

Press Releases

FHFA and BCFP Release National Survey of Mortgage Originations Dataset for Public Use (11/8/2018)

FHFA and CFPB Partner on Development of National Mortgage Database (11/1/2012)



NSMO (11/1/2019)

Technical Documentation

NMDB (10/30/2017)

NSMO (11/08/2018)


NMDB Staff Working Papers​

18-02: First-Time Homebuyer Counseling and the Mortgage Selection Experience (3/14/2018)

18-01: Mortgage Experience of Rural Borrowers (3/14/2018)​​​​​​​​​​

© 2019 Federal Housing Finance Agency