Software program designed to help loan applicantsHomebuyers...


Software program designed to help loan applicants

Homebuyers who have trouble getting mortgages can get a Federal Reserve computer diskette designed to be a road map for loan applicants.

The Fed's new "Partners" software program will be distributed free to lenders, community groups, government agencies and consumers.

The purpose is to provide low- and moderate-income families a quick, comprehensive understanding of what they can do to qualify for a mortgage.

The diskette can be installed in an IBM-compatible computer and operates in a Microsoft Windows environment.

Consumers can call the community affairs office at one of the Federal Reserve's regional banks.

Some phone numbers are: Philadelphia, (215) 574-6482; and Richmond, Va., (804) 697-8447.

Lower rates spell good news for market

Prospects for the U.S. housing market improved this month as mortgage rates fell, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders.

The group's housing market index rose from 53 in September to 57 in October. A reading over 50 suggests more survey participants are seeing "good" conditions than "poor" conditions for home sales.

The index has been as high as 70 in December 1993 and as low as 21 in January 1991. The three components of the index -- current sales of single-family detached homes, expected sales during the next six months, and traffic through model homes -- also improved this month. The index of current home sales rose to 61 in October from 56 in September. The index of sales expected during the next six months rose to 64 from 62. The NAHB's traffic index, which measures the volume of prospective homebuyers looking at model homes, was unchanged at 44.

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