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Lending Standards

New Mortgages Fall to 14 Year Low


  In yet another sign the recovery is hitting a wall due to strict lending standards: in February monthly mortgage originations dropped to the lowest level in at least 14 years as credit standards have not shown signs of loosening, according to latest Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight Financial Services. “February’s data showed the continued trend of declining origination … Read More »

Who Should be Cheering for Falling FICO Scores?


One third—33% of closed loans—had an average FICO score of less than 700 compared to 24% one year ago, yet another sign that lending standard are easing.  Or are they? According to Ellie Mae’s latest monthly origination report, great progress is being made in reducing the average FICO score to give more average American families a shot at a mortgage, … Read More »

Lenders: QM Rule will Bump up Rates for Low FICOs


  The qualified mortgage (QM) rule that took effect in January will raise mortgage rates for borrowerw with lower FICO according to survey of lenders released today. A survey by economists at the National Association of Realtors found that borrowers who cannot qualify for QM status because of their credit histories will pay a big price in higher mortgage rates. … Read More »

FHA, GSE Mortgages Take 40 Percent Longer to Close

old house

  Home purchases financed with lower down payment mortgages such as those guaranteed by FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac are much more likely to face closing delays than transactions involving all cash or large down payments, according to a new survey of real estate agents. The survey of January transactions showed that home purchases financed with lower down … Read More »

New Survey: Consumers Believe Mortgages are Easy to Get

  Just in time for the 2014 home buying season, attitudes towards access to mortgage credit are improving and most Americans now believe it would be easy for them to get a mortgage, according to Fannie Mae’s January National Housing Survey. Consumer attitudes regarding the ease of getting a mortgage climbed 2 percentage points to an all-time survey high of … Read More »

Most Buyers Still Worried About Financing

  As 2013 ended, less than 40 percent of consumers think that it will be easier to secure a mortgage in the coming buying season despite data showing lending standards. In a series of national consumer surveys over the past year, Prudential Real Estate has tracked consumer attitudes towards changing conditions in real estate markets, including access to financing. In … Read More »

Student Loan Debt is Torpedoing Home Sales

A crowd of college students at the 2007 Pittsburgh University Commencement.

  The combination of tough new rules denying qualified mortgages to applicants without the ability to repay and soaring study loan debt may be doing more than anything else to shut an entire generation out of homeownership. First-time buyer market share has fallen to 27 percent in recent months.  Rising prices, thin inventories of starter homes, rising down payment requirements … Read More »

Financing is Starting to Flow

Despite seeing 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rates that were a hefty 1 percent point higher in December than a year earlier, the U.S. housing market is continuing to post solid results, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey. Survey results for December pointed to a housing market that was significantly healthier at the end of 2013 … Read More »

Lenders Loosen up on FICO Scores

The median FICO score for approved mortgages has fallen from 750 to 729 in the past 12 months and l30% of closed loans had an average FICO score below 700 in November 2013, compared to 22% in 2012. Read More »

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