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Median mortgage just as cheap as median rent

The previous declines in house prices and the more recent drop in mortgage rates to record lows have created an unusual situation in which the median monthly mortgage payment is more or less the same as the median rental payment. But we don't expect this to trigger a surge in buying demand. Even if some households want to buy, widespread negative equity and tighter credit conditions mean many can't qualify for a mortgage. For example, lenders now require a credit score of above 700, compared with 650 previously, which has essentially shut 13 million households out of the mortgage market.

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