The amount of home lending in the United States dropped 10 percent in 2011 to its lowest level since 1995. This highlighted the government’s continuous battle to improve the housing sector. The data was released by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, which is an organization of US regulators. It also showed that 7.1 million home loans were made last year. This was down from 7.9 million in 2010.
The data consisted of mortgages, refinancing, and home improvement loans. The data showed that there were drops in the loans made to purchase a home as well as refinancing, which dropped 13 percent in 2011. New mortgages declined 5 percent.
The Federal Reserve, which is one of the regulators involved in collecting the data for the group, said that refinancing activity has been on the rise late last year as interest rates went down. The government is still struggling to improve the housing market, which has slowed the economy’s recovery from the recession.
The US government guarantees majority of the new mortgages and government has increased its support since the collapse of the housing bubble that helped bring about the recession. The government is also trying to make it simpler for homeowners to refinance their existing loans at lower interest rates.
On its part, the Fed tried to lower interest rates. It also announced a bond-buying plan with the goal of lowering costs for home buyers and other borrowers. It noted that banks still require higher credit scores to get a loan. The Fed said that the average score for home buyers had increased around 40 points since the end of 2006.
The data released by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council was in accordance to the federal Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. It is collected from more than 7,600 lenders, which include all of the country’s largest mortgage providers.