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Residential financing experts: Lending standards could soon ease

Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 8:05:15 AM

Mortgage rates have been low all year, but recently, it's been the lending standards that have tripped up a number of prospective borrowers.

A Zillow poll of residential financing experts showed that those standards could soon change for the better, however. The respondents pointed to mortgage regulations and lending policies, with a majority of the more than 100 participants expecting standards to ease.

In addition, 47 percent believe that current lending standards are too tight, while only 7 percent feel that they are too loose. The key problem today is helping renters raise the capital to invest in homeownership.

"Renters face several challenges," said Zillow chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "They need enough money on hand to start to buy homes. Even as mortgage credit becomes easier to obtain and home prices level off, renters are confronted with slow income growth and high rental rates."

Another area worth watching is home prices. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median existing single-family home price ticked up in 85 percent of all measured metropolitan areas in the first quarter of 2015, but the number of markets with increases was roughly on par with the fourth quarter of 2014.