Good News for Consumers Shopping for a Mortgage

Looking to buy a home instead of renting? This may be your time.

Lenders may finally be relaxing the death grip they’ve had on mortgage lending for the last few years, according to Fannie Mae’s January 2014 National Housing survey.

Of the 1,000 Americans polled, 52 percent believed getting a mortgage would easy. That’s a 2 percent jump and an all-time high since the poll first began in June 2010.

“A majority of consumers now believe that it is getting easier to get a mortgage,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “For the first time in the National Housing Survey’s 3 1/2-year history, the share of respondents who said it is easy to get a mortgage surpassed the 50-percent mark, exceeding those who said it would be difficult by 7 percentage points.”

It’s also interesting to note that consumer attitudes toward the economy also improved during January, rising 8 percentage points to 39 percent, while those who frowned on the progress of the economy sank to 54 percent.

Additionally findings in the survey include…

  • The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move hit an all-time survey high of 70 percent, and those who say they would rent is at an all-time low of 26 percent.
  • The share of people who say home prices will stay the same in the next 12 months increased 7 percentage points to 45 percent, while the share who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months fell by 6 percentage points to 43 percent.
  • Those who say it is a good time to sell a house increased 5 percentage points from last month to 38 percent.

Gary Herman, president of Consolidated Credit, likes the good news but adds a word of caution…

“It’s great that consumers believe lenders are ready to work with them regarding mortgages and this survey paints a rosy picture, but the truth is you need a credit score of around 700 to 759 to get a mortgage with decent rates. A score of around 620 can get you a mortgage, but I’m guessing the terms won’t be so rosy. The bottom line is: If you can’t afford the monthly payments, walk away.”

If you’re having trouble affording a home or just need help budgeting, don’t hesitate to call one of our certified credit counselors about improving your money management skills.

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