The federal regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) Mel Watt, recently announced new policies that could help ease credit at the margins. The government mortgage insurer, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), also announced a new program that would decrease insurance premiums for borrowers who agree to undergo credit counseling. Despite the moves, realtors and home builders still argue that credit availability standsin the way of a more robust housing recovery.
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As for mortgage rates, while slightly lower last week, they haven't moved much this week. Tuesday marked the fifth straight day with the exact same average rate, according to Mortgage News Daily. That has only happened one other time since 2009.
"Simply put, rates have been extraordinarily sideways, and right in line with the lowest levels in 11 months," wrote Matthew Graham, COO of Mortgage News Daily.
—By CNBC's Diana Olick. Follow her on Twitter @Diana_Olick.
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