Friday Five: Mortgage Lending and Limits, Housing Survey, and More

Here’s your five-minute catch-up on this week’s housing market highlights:

Here’s your five-minute catch-up on this week’s housing market highlights:

USA Today: Tight Standards Make Mortgages Tough to Get

Many borrowers are struggling to qualify for loans to buy homes. Others can’t take advantage of some of the lowest interest rates in 50 years because they don’t have enough equity in their homes to refinance. Those who can get loans need higher credit scores and bigger down payments than they would have in recent years. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® says lending standards are too tight and are hurting the housing industry’s recovery. The lending industry counters that standards are where they need to be, given still-falling home prices and the shaky economy.

The Wall Street Journal: Congress Urged to Keep Higher U.S.-Backed Mortgage Limits

Housing market experts warned lawmakers Wednesday that the size of mortgages backed by the government shouldn’t be reduced next month amid a weak housing market.

HouseLogic: More Than Refis Needed to Fix Housing Market, Economy

Last week in his address to Congress, President Obama unveiled a $447 billion plan to create jobs and help stimulate the nation’s struggling economy. But the issue squarely at the heart of America’s economic woes — housing — was mostly absent from the president’s speech. The proposed package instead relied heavily on targeted tax cuts, infrastructure spending, new job training assistance, and a $50 billion extension of unemployment benefits.

Money Watch: Fannie Mae Releases National Housing Survey

Americans are more cynical about the economy, home prices, and household finances, according to the findings from Fannie Mae’s new National Housing Survey. 

Consumer Affairs: Want to Crush the Middle Class? Just Eliminate the Mortgage Deduction

While Democrats ramp up calls to tax the rich and the Tea Party fulminates over excessive government spending, the chief economist for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® worries about something more basic: the home mortgage deduction.