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Lending Standards

Better Days are Ahead for Marginal Home Buyers?

As the top officials to serve in the new Trump Administration are named and they outline their priorities, the broad outlines of the new government’s housing policies are taking shape.  Further details won’t complete the picture until the weeks follow the inauguration. Even once they settle into office, some of the policy changes in store—especially reducing and revoking regulations—can take … Read More »

Mortgage Approvals Soar 51% in Four Years

As lending standards have loosened over the past four years, closing rates have steadily improved and in August, approvals rates for all mortgages were more than 50 percent higher than they were in August 2012, according to the latest Origination Insights report from Ellie Mae. Closing rates increased from less than half of applications—47.8 percent in 2014—to 72.3 percent of … Read More »

Three Ways to Lose a Loan: Major Mistakes Borrowers Make

It’s a heady feeling to receive a formal letter advising you that you’ve been pre-qualified for more money than you’ve ever seen in your life.  However, many buyers forget the “pre” part of pre-approval.  Much can happen between pre-qualification and settlement to make that letter worth less than the paper on which it’s written. Here are three of the most … Read More »

Today’s Mortgage Borrowers Mean Business

In the glory days of the housing boom, “pulse loans“ were popular.  (If you had a pulse, you could get a loan.)  Since those days, mortgage approval rates to buy a home have stayed roughly the same; in 2004, some 14.4 percent of purchase loan applications were turned down compared to 13.2 percent in 2014.[1] One might assume that access … Read More »

Beware the Big Lie About Lending Standards

Have you heard the three biggest lies? The check is in the mail. I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. It’s easier for young buyers to get a mortgage today because lending standards are looser than they were a few years ago. Here’s the truth.  Despite everything you may have heard or read, the median profiles for … Read More »

Has Homeownership Become a Privilege?

  During the housing boom mortgage lending was available to people with a broad range of incomes. Since the bust, first-time buyers have become a more select group, according to a new analysis of Census data by BuildZoom’s Chief Economist, Dr. Issi Rorem. “In 2005 the annual number of first time home buyers in the U.S. hit an all-time high … Read More »

Mortgage Credit: The Private/Public Paradox

Next September, two months before the Presidential election, America celebrates eight years since the Treasury Department took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned them into wholly owned subsidiaries. Since then the federal government’s control over the nation’s housing markets has grown even greater than ever. While we’ve been waiting for policymakers to fix a broken system of housing, … Read More »

QM Rule is a Yawner

Despite months of turmoil and repeated complaints from lenders, Realtors, builders and other members of the housing lobby, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage Rule enacted in 2014 has not had any significant impact on risk taking and credit availability, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve. Congress passed one of the most comprehensive financial reform laws … Read More »

Why the Housing Boom is Good for Minority Homeownership

Fourteen years ago, improving minority homeownership was front burner issue.  In 2002, the Bush Administration even set a goal of expanding the number of minorities who owned their own homes by 5.5 million—approximately the number of existing homes sold in a very good year. The subprime crash and housing depression put a sudden end to that effort.  Minority homeownership plummeted … Read More »

First-time Buyers Lose Again

‘Closed loan credit scores continued tumble, while DTI rose in October’ promised the headline from Ellie Mae this month. Eagerly I scanned through the data, hoping at last to see a relaxation of the squeaky tight lending standards for purchase loans, enough to really mean something to the millions of young buyers trying to maneuver their way through student loan … Read More »

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