There have been hints and starts of a housing recovery, but each time it looks like things are getting cranking again, it seems the football gets removed.
One problem? It’s still really hard to get a mortgage.
This chart from Nomura shows the percentage of real estate pros who are experiencing sales cancellations. As 2011 went on, the number of people having an issue with cancellations due to mortgage obtainment started rising!
In his testimony before Congress this week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke continued to show his concern that clogged housing finance remains a sizable drag on the economy. Indeed, despite lower mortgage rates, the share of real estate practitioners who experienced cancellation due to inability to obtain mortgage loans in January rose to 8.0% from the recent low of 1.0%. In Figure 1, the category “cancellation due to other problems” comprises many issues, probably also including cancellation because of mortgage problems. Many potential home buyers can’t take advantage of favourable borrowing conditions due to difficulty in getting mortgage loans.
And here’s the chart.