According to an article published by The Associated Press in The Sunday Patriot News (March 23, 2008), mortgage lenders are making it harder for potential borrowers – even borrower’s with good credit. Borrowers who can not afford to put the traditional 20% downpayment on a home require the backing of a mortgage insurer.

In recent weeks, mortgage insurers have flagged nearly 25% of the nation’s zip codes where they refuse to insure home loans. The following states have experienced the highest foreclosure rates and the worst price declines therefore the entire state is blackballed for some mortgage insurers: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio.

On the flip side, in central Pennsylvania, the housing market continues to fare better than most. In 2007, home prices continued to rise and foreclosure files increased only moderately.

What does this mean for new home buyers? It can mean that higher downpayments, a more thorough review of credit scores, among other requirements. In areas where the home values are declining, more restrictions are in place however regions such as central Pennsylvania are not immune although home values are rising.