In today’s market, in addition to low inventory, Marin County buyers have to contend with strict lending standards.
As of late, however, as another signal of an improving U.S. economy, the nation’s biggest banks have started to loosen mortgage lending guidelines.
As reported by the Federal Reserve, last quarter, no “big banks” reported stricter mortgage standards as compared to the quarter prior and “modest fractions” of banks reported easier mortgage standards.
The data comes from the Fed’s quarterly Senior Loan Officer Survey, a questionnaire sent to 64 domestic banks and 23 U.S. branches of foreign banks. The survey is meant to gauge, among other things, direct demand for consumer loans and banks’ willingness to meet this demand.
Not surprisingly, as mortgage rates fell to all-time lows last quarter, nearly all responding banks reported an increase in demand for prime residential mortgages where “prime residential mortgage” is defined as a mortgage for an applicant whose credit scores are high; whose payment history is unblemished; and, whose debt-to-income ratios are low.
Consumers were eager to buy homes and/or refinance them last quarter and 6% of the nation’s big banks said their credit standards “eased somewhat” during that time frame. The remaining 94% of big banks said standards were left unchanged.
The ease of getting approved for a home loan, however, is relative.
As compared to 5 years ago, home buyers and rate shoppers face a distinctly more challenging mortgage environment. Not only are today’s minimum FICO score requirements higher by up to 100 points, depending on the loan product, applicants face new income scrutiny and must also demonstrate a more clear capacity to make repayments.
Tougher lending standards are among the reasons why the national home ownership rate is at its lowest point since 1997. It is harder to get mortgage-approved today as compared to late-last decade.
For those who apply and succeed, the reward is access to the lowest mortgage rates in a lifetime. Mortgage rates continue to push home affordability to all-time highs.
If you’ve been shopping for a Marin County home, or planning to refinance, with mortgage rates low, it’s a good time to commit.
Feel free to call me at 415-505-4789 or Sylvie@YourPieceofMarin.com if you need a referral to some of Marin’s top mortgage professionals.
And if you are considering the purchase of a home in Marin County, I will help you make the whole process as fun and stress-free as possible. Contact me to request my unique buyer’s ebook with a wealth of tips and information to help you understand and get prepared for every step of your home’s purchase.
About the author: The above Real Estate information on Marin County Real Estate was provided by Sylvie Zolezzi. I can be reached via email at Sylvie@YourPieceOfMarin.com or by phone/text at 415.505.4789. I am an award winning Realtor specializing in luxury residential real estate in beautiful Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
My goal is to provide you with the best home buying or selling experience possible by combining my business and financial experience with meticulous attention to detail and a warm, personable and caring approach to meeting your needs. I have an excellent track record as a successful, results-oriented negotiator and effective communicator. My analytical skills and understanding of current market conditions, along with my ability to utilize a broad range of cutting edge technological and marketing resources, make me an invaluable real estate resource.
I am a long term Marin County resident and home owner. I strongly believe our quality of life is extraordinary and practically unmatched. I love our community, quaint towns and vast open space and never tire of their breathtaking beauty. I know the neighborhoods, the schools, the amenities; I know where you want to live. I know and love Marin County!
I specialize in Luxury Homes in the following towns in Marin County: Sausalito, Tiburon, Belvedere, Mill Valley, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, and Novato.