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5/17/2011 - Spring real estate sales struggle


Mortgage companies have made it tougher to buy a home.

Traditionally, spring is the season where home sales pick up after the long and dreary winter. But sales have been anything but swift for nationwide real estate agencies.

In an interview with MSNBC.com, Walt Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors, said this is largely because lending standards have become more restrictive. Molony said the housing market would likely see a 15 percent increase in sales if mortgage restrictions would loosen.

But other industry analysts tell the news service that what may be a struggling market now will be a thriving one later, as tighter mortgage lending practices will lead to better-qualified homebuyers and fewer distressed properties, which the housing market is flooded with at present.

What's more, well-qualified homebuyers may also lead to lower homeowners insurance rates, as among the things insurance companies take into consideration when assessing premium prices are homeowners' credit history profiles.

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