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Will Lending Standards Ease at All in 2013?

by Peter Thomas Ricci

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Will lending standards start to ease in 2013? Research by Moody’s Analytics suggest that may begin to happen, albeit slowly.

It’s become the eternal question in real estate – when oh when will lending standards ease up?

Though the housing market has put up some of its strongest numbers since 2006, the mortgage markets, from the perspective of many real estate agents, remain overly restrictive, and they continue to stand in the way of a true housing recovery.

The most recent Survey of Senior Lending Officers by Moody’s Analytics, though, suggests that lending standards may easing, albeit slowly. Though 82 percent of loans the past two years have gone to borrowers with the highest credit scores (compared to 50 percent in 2005 and 2006), the survey did show that over the past 18 months, large lenders either loosened or left intact their lending standards on prime mortgage originations.

And Jack Persin, the managing broker of Ryan Hill Realty in Naperville, said that his buyer clients has had better lending experiences at of late.

“In all areas buyers are finding the process improved,” Persin said. “Not to say that getting to the closing table and having funds at the closing still can be a challenge, [but] buyers with good credit scores are getting approved.”

Persin also reiterated comments from Gary Thomas, NAR’s current president, who recently testified before Congress that FHA lending kept the housing market afloat during the worst periods of the economic downturn.

As our infographic below shows, it’d be tricky for lending standards to get any more tight than they currently are, so perhaps an easing is on the way?

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