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How Philadelphia’s Mortgage Lending is Being Impacted

Under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), Federal Reserve banks can earn credits for home loans made in low and middle-income neighborhoods. A 2014 change to this law is now affecting many communities in Philadelphia. Here are just a few effects that have been noticed thus far.

Drawing New Boundary Lines

Changes to the CRA generally come as a result of Census Bureau information. In 2014, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) used 2010 census data to divide Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester counties from Philadelphia and Delaware counties.

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Banks Realize Millennials are the Key to Growth

The housing market crash forced lenders everywhere to tighten up their standards. That resulted in a number of consumers, particularly young people, to become ineligible for a mortgage. Realizing that millennials are the key to growth in the housing market, many lenders such as Fannie Mae are now loosening up their standards a bit. Here is an overview of some upcoming changes, as well as their anticipated effects.

Debt-to-Income Ratio Changes

The homeownership rate for those under 35 is at its lowest level in decades. One reason is that millennials in particular are often plagued with student loan debt that can prevent them from becoming qualified for a mortgage. This is one reason Fannie Mae plans to increase the Debt-To-Income (DTI) ratio from 45% to 50%. A person’s DTI ratio is his or her debt payments divided by monthly income, and includes all types of debt including student loans.

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Lenders are Easing up on Getting a Mortgage

Mortgage lenders have tightened their criteria in recent years, leaving many people unable to qualify for a loan. Faced with a decreasing pool of applicants, lenders are now loosening some criteria to make it easier for people to become approved. The three major credit bureaus are getting in on the action as well, revising some of their information to make it more favorable to the consumer. If you have previously been unable to obtain a mortgage, now might be the time to reconsider-here are just a few reasons why.

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Mortgage Applications are Up-That’s a Good Thing!

The number of people applying for a mortgage has increased, leaving many economists excited about the future of real estate. What is driving this increase and how long will it last? Here’s what the latest data is showing.

Data from July 2017

Figures from the first week of July 2017 show us that interest rates had their biggest five-day increase since just after the 2016 presidential election. During that week, the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage of $424,100 or less was 4.20%. This figure was up from the previous 4.13%, and was the highest interest rate in a two-month period. At the same time, points (including the origination fee) dropped from 0.32 to 0.31.

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Why the 20% Down Payment Might Soon be Gone

When it comes to buying a home, one thing that stops many people is coming up with a 20% down payment. While at one time putting 20% down was standard practice, there has been a shift away from doing so in recent years. A traditional down payment of 20% is no longer the norm, and could soon be a thing of the past. What is driving this trend, and is it a good thing or a bad thing? Let’s take a look at what is happening in the mortgage industry.

Trend Toward Less Money Down

Lenders often quote a 20% down payment as the “gold standard” among home buyers. Even so, the majority of people have a down payment that is far less than that amount. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 70% of first-time home buyers and 54% of all other purchasers put down less than 20% during the past five years. In addition, 60% of first-time home buyers had a down payment that was only 6% or lower.

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