JPMorgan walks back some mortgage constraints

Bank’s consumer lending chief says decision inspired by rising housing prices

 JPMorgan’s Marianne Lake (Getty, iStock)
JPMorgan’s Marianne Lake (Getty, iStock)

The head of JPMorgan’s consumer lending arm says the bank is relaxing its mortgage criteria as housing prices surge across the country.

Marianne Lake made the comments at a virtual investor conference this week, Bloomberg reported. In the mortgage space, she said the bank had “walked back some of our constraints” as home prices rise throughout the country.

“We have loosened some of our criteria there,” she added. It is unclear what elements of the criteria, exactly, have been altered.

The housing market has been boosted by low interest rates and a strengthening economy, with ownership rates up four percent from last year, Lake said.

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That percentage was slightly higher among people aged between 35 and 44, many of whom are opting to leave cities and buy properties in areas with more space.

“Just to put that in context, in terms of the purchase market, that would be similar in size to the housing boom back in 2005 and 2006,” Lake said.

“There’s no question that the last decade has been a quite challenging decade for home lending for the industry, and we were not an exception,” she added. “A lot of that is in the rear-view mirror. I feel like we’re more on the offensive than the defensive.”

JPMorgan’s revenue in the third quarter from its home-lending business was up 17 percent from last year, reaching $1.71 billion. [Bloomberg] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan