A new story from Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal


Lots of housing news out there today. Home prices were up in February for the first time in 8 months by the by. That is according to the latest case schiller home price index. Also, the number of new homes sales was up almost 10% in March. That's from the Department of Housing and urban development and the Census Bureau. The caveat here, of course, is that two data points do not a trend make, but we can pretty readily infer that the housing market is still tight. Supply is low, prices, and mortgage rates are still high. So affordability is a challenge. Starting the 1st of May, though, conditions are going to ease just a bit for some low and middle income buyers because mortgage fees for loans banked by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are changing marketplaces Samantha fields, explains that one. When most people think about buying a home, they tend to focus on two expenses. Their down payment and their monthly mortgage payment. But Jenny shuts at the brookings institution says there are a whole bunch of other fees, too. Some go to the lender, you pay things like brokers fees, that go to the realtor, you pay closing costs, which go to cover a variety of things like title insurance, and those costs can add up to thousands of dollars. For people who are stretching to make the down payment and get in, this can be a hurdle. Sometimes the hurdle that prevents them from buying. The federal housing finance agency is trying to change that equation. That's why it's changing one of those fees called loan level price adjustment for the more than half of buyers who get loans backed by Fannie and Freddie. The fee will go down for buyers with smaller down payments and buyers with lower credit scores. Those two changes together will have a major impact on the affordability for borrowers, particularly those with low and moderate incomes, Vanessa Perry is at the George Washington University school of business. And that really matters in the current price environment where house prices are so high and have essentially skyrocketed over the past few years. This change is designed to save lower income buyers money, says metria spots are at the center for responsible lending. Often a few $1000, which is enough to make the difference for some people. It expands access by making home ownership more accessible to a broader scope of folks. As part of this change too, buyers with very high credit scores and more money to put down will see their loan level price adjustment

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