Mortgages are becoming easier to secure – as indicated by recent data by the Mortgage Bankers Association; their index on mortgage credit availability increased by 1.8% in January for all loan types. Even the usually lesser-procured loan types, such as the jumbo loans and the government backed loans, yielded growth.
This sudden boom is, no doubt, influenced by the softened standards of lenders nationwide. When the Federal Reserve surveyed senior loan officers last month, their findings were contingent with the study, verifying that many large banks had reduced lending standards.
There have been many changes over the past two months – changes that the government hopes will lead to a much-needed housing boom. In December, government housing associations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced the new acceptance of loans with as little as 3% down payment. Another effort, put forward by the FHA last month, lowered mortgage insurance premiums.
So far, the FHA changes have yielded refinance applications to jump from 9.1% to 13.1% of overall loan applications, in just one week.