Actually, Things Aren't All That Loose

Last week, we mentioned that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac introduced a new program to buy mortgage loans with down payments as low as 3%. For borrowers to qualify for 3% down they'd need a FICO score of at least 620. They'd also have to prove their income, assets and job status, and purchase private mortgage insurance. Of course, this is all within the norm.

Fannie and Freddie's new mortgage program inspired a spurt of head shaking and finger wagging from media outlets : Could low down payments lead to another housing boom and bust? Could another mortgage bubble form?

We don't see booms and busts or bubbles in our future. For one, housing sales and purchase mortgage financing is still muted from a historical perspective. Lending standards are still high, and you can argue still too high. (Fed Chair Yellen stated that she was surprised that the housing recovery has not been more robust and indicated that it is because of tight credit markets.) This is reflected in the dearth of first-time home buyers. The NAR reports that first-time home buyers account for just 33% of all home purchases. That's the lowest level in 27 years.

Given the strength in employment and the economy, there is no reason for lenders not to reach out on the risk curve. There is also no reason for regulators to dissuade lenders from not extending credit to riskier buyers – if intelligently done.

Most of us vividly remember what occurred in 2008 and 2009, so everyone is sensitive to market disconnects. Are lending standards too loose? Not by a long shot. The benefits of easing credit standards far outweigh the risk of another bubble at this point in the recovery.

Information provided by Jessica Regan.

Search all Harrisburg PA homes for sale.

When you are buying or selling property in today's Harrisburg PA real estate market, it's important to have confidence in your real estate professional. Don’s commitment as your Harrisburg PA REALTOR® is to provide you with the specialized real estate service you deserve.

When you are an informed buyer or seller, you'll make the best decisions for the most important purchase or sale in your lifetime. That's why Don’s goal is to keep you informed on trends in Harrisburg PA real estate. With property values continuing to rise, real estate is a sound investment for now and for the future.

As a local area expert with knowledge of Harrisburg PA area communities, Don’s objective is to work diligently to assist you in meeting your real estate goals.

If you are considering buying or selling a home or would just like to have additional information about real estate in your area, please don't hesitate to call me at (717) 657-8700complete my online form, or e-mail me at