Welcome to the 2018 home-buying market. Rising demand and an extremely tight supply of homes, especially in the critical starter-home market, make it difficult to realize your goal of home ownership.
In this buyer’s market, you’ll need two important things to land your dream home – more money and a higher credit score.
Data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University highlight the credit score issue. According to the 2017 JCHS study, “The State of the Nation’s Housing – 2017,” the median credit score for successful mortgage loan applications increased from a FICO score of 700 in 2005 to 732 in 2016. Lenders are still conservative in their risk assessments – aided in part by regulations put in place during the housing crisis.
In the pre-crisis market of 2005, around 10% of conventional first lien mortgages went to borrowers with a credit score below 620. That number fell to nearly zero by 2009, and as of 2016, it…