Fannie Mae’s quarterly Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey polls mortgage professionals to get an idea of how they see the current market and the months ahead. Recently released, their fourth-quarter survey finds lenders reporting that credit standards continue to ease – which is good news for potential home buyers looking to purchase a house in the coming months. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, says increased credit availability should help home buyers affected by decreasing affordability conditions. “Several factors point to constrained housing affordability in 2016, particularly for first-time home buyers, including slow single-family supply response and limited inventory of starter homes on the market, strong inflation-adjusted house price appreciation outpacing household income growth, and an upward bias in mortgage rates. However, on net, lenders told us in our fourth-quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey that they have eased and expect to continue to ease credit standards, which was a consistent trend throughout 2015,” Duncan said. “Thoughtful easing will help mitigate some of the affordability decline moving into 2016.” The percentage of lenders reporting easing expectations reached a new survey high, according to the survey’s results. More here.