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Lenders say 3 percent mortgages key for first-time buyers

Mortgage lenders believe first-time home buyers will make up a larger portion of their business in the new year, and they believe 3 percent mortgages are key to getting more into homeownership. The majority of the 200 lenders surveyed by Genworth Mortgage Insurance believe that the demand for 97 percent loan-to-value products will surge in 2018.

Industry professionals were divided on what they viewed as the most likely source of credit expansion in 2018. Forty-five percent of lenders said a higher mix of above-80 LTV loans, while 38 percent said a higher mix of borrowers with below-700 FICO scores. Seventeen percent of respondents said that a higher mix of borrowers with above-41 debt-to-income would be the most likely source of credit expansion.

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