Restrictions should be relaxed for creditworthy borrowers say builders
Many creditworthy borrowers are being frozen out of mortgages by overly-tight conditions. That’s the view of the National Association of Builders (NAHB), which is calling for Congress and federal regulators to act to ease tight mortgage conditions to allow more buyers to own homes.
The association says that mortgage lenders are currently imposing credit underwriting standards that are more restrictive than FHA, VA and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac require, making it more difficult for prospective home buyers to obtain financing. It also says that government-backed mortgages carry fees that are higher than they should be, given the increased quality of the underlying loans.
Testifying before the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing examining regulatory burdens to obtaining mortgage credit, NAHB Chairman Tom Woods urged the Senate to pass the Mortgage Choice Act, legislation to improve access to home loans for working American families and first-time home buyers that was approved by the House earlier this week.
Star Wars creator to pay for 224 affordable homes
George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, is to pay for 224 affordable homes at his property in Marin County, California. The plan is to create one of the Bay Area’s largest affordable housing projects off Lucas Valley Road in Novato. The director had originally planned to use the land for an expansion of his movie studio.
CBS San Francisco says that when Lucas’ studio plan was rejected after opposition from neighbors he decided to give something back to the community. The affordable housing project stalled in 2013 after key backers pulled out but this time Lucas is paying for the home himself. He is quoted as saying: “We’ve got enough millionaires here. What we need is some houses for regular working people.”
Jake Gyllenhaal looking for New York home
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is reportedly looking at New York homes as he prepares to make his musical debut in an off-Broadway production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. The New York Post says that Gyllenhaal has viewed a three-bedroom, 4.5 bathroom home in Tribeca which is now under contract to someone else and a four-bedroom, 4.5 bathroom home in the same block which then increased in price by $500,000; perhaps the celebrity interest made it suddenly more valuable?