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Zillow: Mortgage availability inches closer to pre-bubble levels [VIDEO]

Posted on Monday, March 16, 2015 at 11:11:39 AM

When the housing bubble happened - and during the subsequent recession - many American's homebuying plans were put on hold. It became much tougher to get a mortgage, and many people with decent credit were on the outside looking in.

However, a recent report from Zillow has shown that residential financing availability is on the rise, with lenders relaxing standards a bit in order to accommodate a wider range of borrowers. Zillow found that access to mortgages is roughly two-thirds of the way back to levels last seen in 2002. The peak for mortgage availability came in 2004, though, while the trough was in fall of 2010.

"Modestly easier credit will help first-time buyers get into the market, which will have many benefits," explained Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. "We're a long way from again letting credit get too loose, but we'll need to remain vigilant not to repeat the mistakes of the recent past."

In addition, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications for new home sales ticked up 12 percent from January to February of this year. This is both an indication that borrowers are getting mortgages and that they are using those mortgages on new, not "used" homes.

Overall, conditions today are as good as they've been in a while when it comes to residential financing.