Daily Real Estate News

October 05, 2007
Author: Kenneth R. Harney

The widespread notion that the entire mortgage market is in crisis is just plain wrong, say lenders in various parts of the country.

The majority of mortgage products have been unaffected by troubles in the subprime segment. Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rated loans remain in the low 6 percent range for people with reasonably good, though not necessarily perfect, credit records, according Kenneth R. Harney, managing director of the National Real Estate Development Center and syndicated columnist.

While there is plenty of money to lend, Harney says underwriting standards are more strict than they were a year ago. Jumbo loans, for example, often require two appraisals – one by an appraiser selected by the lender and the other by one working for the investor.

Similarly, FICO credit-score standards generally are higher than a year ago, stated-income mortgages with no verifications are hard to find and lenders are especially wary of excessive "layering of risk" – combining low down payments with marginal credit scores and high debt-to-income ratios – in markets where prices are trending lower.

Source: The Washington Post Writers Group,(09/29/07)

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