Countdown: the top 10 stories of the year (5,6)

Here’s what our readers were most interested in

We’re getting closer to the year’s top story, but first, let’s look at the ones that almost made it.

We already discovered the 9th and 10th top articles in part one of the countdown, and the 7th and 8th top articles in part two.

Now, we will examine the top 5th and 6th most popular articles among HousingWire readers this year. These two articles may have been popular reads, but the stories they told struck controversy among the housing industry.

Here is the 6th most popular article of 2017:

Freddie Mac extends appraisal-free mortgage program to purchase loans

Like the 9th most popular article of the year, which details Fannie Mae’s new appraisal free mortgage program, Freddie’s entrance into the market produced a lot of interest – and a lot of controversy. The story was written back in August this year and quickly became one of the year’s top articles.

Freddie Mac announced it is extending its program which cuts appraisers out of the mortgage process to purchase loans in order to create a better experience for lenders and homebuyers. The company estimates this could save borrowers an estimated $500 in fees and cut closing times by about 10 days.

And the 5th most popular article on HousingWire this year:

Fannie Mae raises debt-to-income ratio to further expand mortgage lending

Written in June this year, the article details Fannie Mae’s decision to expand mortgage lending by raising the No. 1 reason why people get rejected – the debt-to-income ratio. Comment boards and reaction pieces quickly criticized the GSE for its “reckless lending decision,” however Fannie Mae claimed borrowers with 50% DTI are not prone to default.

Fannie Mae announced it was preparing to increase its debt-to-income ratio requirement to 50% in July. While this move may seem risky as borrowers will have less cash-flow, Fannie Mae insists the results of its study show the borrowers that will now qualify are up to the task.

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