We've spent a good deal of time over the past month vetting the Federal Reserve and the odds of an interest-rate increase.  This stuff matters, but really not as much as the overall health of the mortgage and housing markets. Fortunately, the overall health is very good. 

Mortgage-credit availability is no longer an issue. Indeed, credit availability measured by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that credit is as easily obtainable as it has been in years.  This is no surprise. Even when credit standards were tight, we were sure they would loosen once economic growth and job creation picked up. We've been proven right on this point.  Better yet, credit standards should remain accommodating for some time to come. 

At the same time, home sales continue to march ahead. Prices are still on the rise, but at a more reasonable pace. Starts and demand for new homes continue to trend positively. This is obviously all good news. So don't worry about next Thursday. Whatever happens with interest rates – whether up or hold – mortgage lending and housing will remain in good health.

Information provided by Jessica Regan.

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