Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mortgage availability drops drastically

As credit markets panic, lenders go out of business and hedge funds collapse, whole classes of loans seem to be evaporating. Lenders are no longer willing to fund “Jumbo” mortgages, or loans for sums above the Fannie Mae limit of $417,000, because there’s no one to sell them to. Those who still offer the product charge a fee of 7% and above – and that is for prime borrowers with good credit and a down payment of more than 5%. No-down payment and 5% down payment loans have virtually disappeared from the market, and so have no-doc, interest-only and some other super-risky loans. Subprime and Alt-A borrowers were the first to feel the squeeze; now even consumers with perfect credit are hard put to find financing at a reasonable price.

A Fed survey discovered that 56.3% of banks have tightened credit standards for loans to borrowers with weak credit. 14.3% of the participants in the survey said they had tightened lending standards to prime borrowers, too. Quite bad for anyone wishing to buy a house or refinance their mortgage. It’s only natural that we’re seeing record levels of delinquencies and foreclosure activity. Consequently, anyone wishing to escape adjusting monthly payments has no real alternative to foreclosure. I wonder home many troubled borrowers actually considered the ‘worst-case scenario’ before they signed their mortgage papers a couple of years ago. Or was it the NAR & Co.’s influence? Housing prices could only go up, right?

2 comments:

Louisville Real Estate said...

I suppose this shouldn't really come as a suprise to anyone based on the way things have been going lately. I guess we'll just have to stay tuned.

Angelina Colquit said...

yeah, and I guess stricter lending standards, along with credit priced to risk, are good in the long term