Is Getting a Home Mortgage Still Too Difficult?

There is no doubt that mortgage credit availability is expanding, meaning it is easier to finance a home today than it was last year. However, the mortgage market is still much tighter than it was prior to the housing boom and bust experienced between 2003 – 2006.

毫無疑問,房屋貸款的可得性正在擴大,這意味著現在比去年更容易拿到貸款,然而,房貸市場仍然比2003 – 2006年房市繁榮和蕭條期間更為嚴格。

The Housing Financing Policy Center at the Urban Institute just released data revealing two reasons for the current exceptionally high credit standards:


  1. Additional restrictions lenders put on borrowing because of concerns that they will be forced to repurchase failed loans from the government-sponsored enterprises or Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
  2. The concern about potential litigation for imperfect loans.

What has been the result of these concerns?

6.3 Million Less Mortgages

The Policy Center report went on to say:

“It was so hard to get a mortgage in 2015 that lenders failed to make about 1.1 million mortgages that they would have made if reasonable lending standards had been in place. From 2009 to 2014, lenders failed to make about 5.2 million mortgages thanks to overly tight credit. In total, lenders would have issued 6.3 million additional mortgages between 2009 and 2015 if lending standards had been more reasonable.”


In an interview with DSNews, Laurie Goodman and Alanna McCargo of the Policy Center further explained:

在DSNews的採訪中,政策中心的Laurie Goodman和Alanna McCargo進一步解釋說:

“Our Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI)* measures the probability that mortgage borrowers will become delinquent on that mortgage for 90 or more days, which we refer to as the default risk. This measure indicates that the probability of default rose from 12 percent in 2001 to a peak of 16.5 percent at the end of 2005/beginning of 2006, before declining to the current level of 5 percent. Stated differently, lenders are currently taking less than half the credit risk they were taking in 2001, a period of reasonable credit standards.”

“我們的住屋信貸可用性指數(HCAI)*衡量房貸借款人在90天的貸款違約概率,我們稱之為違約風險。這一指標表明違約概率從2001年的12%上升到2005年/ 2006年年初的16.5%,然後下降到目前的5%水平。換句話說,貸款人目前的信用風險不到2001年信用風險的一半,這是一個非常合理的信用標準。”

The cost to the economy if we’re writing fewer loans…

Goodman and McCargo put it best:

“…fewer households will become homeowners at exactly the point in the economic cycle when it is most advantageous to do so… [They] will continue to miss this wealth-building opportunity. The median family wealth for homeowners is $195,400, with their home the most valuable asset for most; the median family wealth for renters is $5,400… Fewer potential homebuyers means the housing market will continue to recover more slowly. At the same time, fewer buyers create a strain on other benefits to the economy which homebuying brings such as spending on home goods and an increase in construction jobs.”

“…在經濟周期中最有利的時候,反而更少的家庭成為屋主… [他們]將繼續錯過這個創造財富的機會。屋主的家庭財富平均數為$195,400美元,房屋為最貴的資產;租房者的家庭財富平均數為5,400美元… 減少的購屋者意味著房屋市場將繼續緩慢恢復。同時,較少的買家對其他產業的經濟也帶來壓力,例如家庭用品和建築工程。”

Bottom Line

The housing market boom and bust caused many mortgage providers and lenders to tighten their lending standards in an effort not to repeat the recent past. This paired with many homebuyers disqualifying themselves before they even apply for a loan, due to the fear of rejection, has led to many households not yet becoming homeowners.


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