After reading Kenneth Harney’s article titled “Tight credit hitting specialized areas of Knotmortgage market” in the May 3, 2008 Real Estate section of the San Francisco Chronicle, it struck me how far we have to go to return to a more normal housing market. Mr. Harney discusses the multitude of new restrictions on home mortgages which all have one glaring similarity—they make it harder for borrowers to get a loan.

Some of the new loan restrictions affecting home buyers are:

·         No more zero down financing

·         No more stated income for non self- employed people

·         No refinancing a property that had a cash-out refinance within the last six months

Some of the new loan guidelines for investors will also hurt the housing industry. A few of these are:

·         No investor shall be eligible for loans on more than four properties in total—the prior limit was ten.

This will clearly have a detrimental effect as housing seen from an investment perspective will be effectively limited to four properties—looks like REIT’s will be getting a second life when the housing market does pick up.

What’s entirely possible is that the market may never see another feverish housing boom–the likes of which swept the country in the last decade. Home affordability is still near an historical low, lending standards have never been tighter—the huge confluence of dual income qualification for loans and higher home values is off the table as that market effect has been played out already (we did an article on that months ago called the dual income trap).

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Disclaimer: This information is for entertainment purposes only and includes no legal, accounting or real estate advice nor is this intended to be specific to your situation-consult a specialist for your specific situation.

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