Mortgages Are Getting Easier to Land, but Home Ownership Lags

Lending restrictions relaxed in 2014, allowing would-be homebuyers to more easily secure a mortgage, according to a report issued Thursday by Zillow real estate database. But landing a loan to buy a home today isn’t nearly as easy as it was before the housing bubble burst.

Zillow’s Mortgage Access Index released Thursday serves as an indicator of how easy or difficult it is for potential homebuyers to acquire a mortgage. The index shed about 3 percent between the third and the fourth quarter of 2014 but was ultimately up almost 36 percent year over year.

“We saw essentially a pause in the pace of the improvement of credit conditions, where we have seen really remarkable recovery in credit conditions since their low point in 2010,” says Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow. “It is extremely unlikely that we’ll get back to the credit conditions that prevailed in the 2004 to 2007 period of time, but that’s probably a good thing. I think most analysts agree at this point that credit conditions were too loose at that point in time.” More here.

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