Survey Finds Mortgage Credit Starting to Ease

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PredictionsStringent mortgage standards have kept many potential home buyers on the sidelines the last few years. But 8 percent of banks say they’ve loosened up their mortgage standards in the last three months, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest Senior Loan Officer Survey. The survey shows that credit conditions have either held steady or loosened for eight of the past nine quarters.

Banks also reported they may be more open to increasing their mortgage business soon. Twenty-seven percent of the banks surveyed say they plan to shore up their residential mortgage assets within the next year, according to the survey.

Nearly 40 percent of banks also reported they’ve seen a rise in mortgage demand in the last three months.

Ellie Mae recently reported that 60 percent of home purchase applications in March were approved—up from 55 percent year-over-year.

Still, despite progress, mortgage conditions remain tight and applicants must still meet high standards—such as 20 percent down payment or high credit score requirements.

“Fear Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will force lenders to take back risky mortgages continues to be the primary condition constraining lending,” RealtyTrac reports. “Other conditions that have lenders holding tight to mortgage purse strings include obtaining insurance, slow economic growth, concerns about securitization, and processing capacity.”

Source: “Mortgage Squeeze Loosens, Somewhat,” RealtyTimes May 16, 2013

Read more: Data Shows Mortgage Credit Easing, Others Not so Sure

via Survey Finds Mortgage Credit Starting to Ease | Realtor Magazine.

Home Ownership Rate Drops to Lowest Point in 18 Years

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Poll: Why do you think this is happening, considering record low interest rates and prices well below the all time highs?

House KeysThe U.S. home ownership rate has fallen to its lowest point since 1995, the Census Bureau reports.

The home ownership rate dropped to 65 percent in the first quarter, down slightly from 65.4 percent a year earlier.

Housing analysts say tight credit conditions, constrained inventories of for-sale homes, and an increase in single-family rental homes have caused the home ownership rate to fall.

Paul Diggle, a property economist for Capital Economics, says he predicts the home ownership rate will likely fall for the remainder of the year. The home ownership rate peaked in June 2004 when it stood at 69.2 percent.

Source: “U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls to Lowest Since 1995,” Bloomberg News April 30, 2013

via Home Ownership Rate Drops to Lowest Point in 18 Years | Realtor Magazine.

The IE is the 16th Best Market for Flipping Houses

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Coin FlipA recent article in Realtor Magazine only listed the 8 best, but read on and find out the Inland Empire is the 16th Best Market for flipping a house out of the more than more than 600 metro areas throughout the country RealtyTrac recently studied!

Read the full story here:  “Best Markets for Flipping Homes,” HousingWire (May 2, 2013)

via 8 Best Markets for Flipping Houses | Realtor Magazine.