A Gulf Shores home mortgage is still too hard to get, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Fed Chair discussed housing and mortgage finance at the Hope Global Financial Dignity Summit in Atlanta.
The Gulf Shores housing market has been experiencing signs of recovery this year, but according to Bernanke, it’s far from out of the woods. Weak construction numbers remain a drag and “7% of mortgages are either more than 90 days overdue or in the process of foreclosure,” he added.
The Fed chief also pointed to tighter lending conditions for a home mortgage as a factor in the housing slowdown.
Gulf Shores Home Mortgage Tightening Has Gone Too Far
“Lenders began tightening home mortgage credit standards in 2007 and have not significantly eased standards since,” the chairman said, citing the Federal Reserve’s Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices. “Terms and standards have tightened most for borrowers with lower credit scores and with less money available for a down payment.”
Bernanke said some tightening was warranted after the housing crisis, but added “it seems at this point the pendulum has swung too far the other way, and that overly tight lending standards may now be preventing creditworthy borrowers from buying homes.”
Bernanke’s statements showed a Fed Chairman who is well aware of the push-pull that is creating conflict in the home mortgage market.
On one hand, federal regulators and new laws are trying to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and ensure a stable housing market. On the other hand, Bernanke realizes lending institutions are delaying the origination of certain loans because they fear new regulations and potential putback claims associated with today’s new regulatory landscape.
To a larger degree, the Fed chairman blames the slow housing recovery on unemployment issues since a loss of income generally forces citizens to avoid homeownership altogether.
Underwater borrowers also remain trapped, making it difficult for them to stimulate new market activity.
“The fall in home prices means that many current homeowners cannot rely as much as they could in the past on tapping their existing home equity to trade up to larger or better homes, while underwater homeowners may be financially unable to move from their current homes,” Bernanke said.
For more on Gulf Shores home mortgage information, click the Gulf Shores Mortgage Info category to the right.