Most lenders haven’t changed standards on prime mortgages in the last three months, but many are tightening requirements for nontraditional and subprime loans, according to a Federal Reserve survey of lenders.
A “large majority” of lenders surveyed said standards on prime residential mortgages had remained basically unchanged over the past three months, with 15 percent reporting “somewhat tighter” standards.
Of 44 originators of nontraditional residential mortgages (such as interest-only and payment-option loans), 45 percent reported a tightening of standards, with the rest reporting their standards had remained basically unchanged.
Of the 16 lenders that originated subprime residential mortgages, more than half of respondents reported that they had tightened standards on such loans.
Of the nine institutions that reported tightening standards on subprime residential mortgages, only one indicated that it had also tightened standards on prime residential mortgages. Five of the 20 lenders that reported tightening standards on nontraditional mortgages also tightened standards on prime mortgages.
About one-fifth of lenders reported weaker demand for each of the three categories of residential mortgages — prime, nontraditional and subprime — over the past three months.
Federal bank regulators in September strengthened underwriting and disclosure guidelines for nontraditional loans, and have proposed applying the criteria to subprime loans.