(Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part series exploring the progress of East Providence’s 10-year effort to redevelop its waterfront and what it might mean for a similar effort underway in Providence.)more
Policy changes by two of the biggest players in the mortgage market could open doors to home purchases this fall by thousands of people who were hard hit by the housing bust and who thought they’d have to wait for years before owning again.
Federal agencies weren’t functioning much of October, but six of them are looking at a proposal that could squeeze huge numbers of buyers out of the mortgage market: a mandatory 30 percent down payment for borrowers who seek the best rates and terms.
The verdict was nearly unanimous at a recent hearing on Capitol Hill: The new federal “ability to repay” and “qualified mortgage” regulations that took effect Jan. 10 will make obtaining credit tougher, not easier, this year, and potentially force large numbers of credit-worthy homebuyers to defer or cancel their plans.
The numbers of affected consumers are as yet impossible to predict, but mortgage credit experts warn that the recent massive data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers could have significant side impacts on some real estate transactions in the coming months, as damaged credit files depress scores and jeopardize loan applications and home sales.
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