Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Five leading economists weigh in and the answer may surprise you

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Moody's economist Zandi sees ample optimism in housing market

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In HousingWire's State of Housing webinar Thursday afternoon, three leading figures in the mortgage finance sector provided in-depth analysis on where the housing markets are heading. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics said he expects home prices to be depressed into 2012. He adds that the knock-on effect from the robo-signing debacle will be minimal. "It's not going to be a significant issue," he said. "Household formations will pick up," he added, in a belief that supply will not greatly outstrip demand in the long-term. The current, large inventory will provide the main downward pressure on prices going forward. "By this time next year we should see measurably better job conditions," he said. Zandi said markets will improve overall, as mortgage rates hover around 4.5%. And, he adds, housing has reached the most-affordable levels in recent memory. "We aren't quite at the bottom yet, but we are getting close," he said. Kyle Lundstedt, managing director of the applied analytics division at LPS and Laurie Goodman, senior managing director, Amherst Securities are also providing commentary. Jacob Gaffney is the editor of HousingWire. Write him.

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