by Paul Sperry
We learned nothing from the last financial crisis. The housing market is set to collapse, again, and a key culprit, again, is artificial demand created by government policies.
For starters, mortgage-software firm Ellie Mae reports that the average FICO credit score of an approved home loan plunged to 719 in January (the latest month for which data is available) from 731 a year earlier, and well below 2011’s peak of 750.
It’s a dangerous sign lenders are loosening underwriting standards. Lower FICO scores correlate with higher risk of loan default.
The Federal Housing Administration is a big reason for falling credit scores. So are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The government housing agencies have slashed credit requirements under pressure from the Obama administration — like the Clinton administration before it — to qualify more immigrants and minorities with low incomes and “less-than-perfect credit.”