San francisco - At the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Secondary Market Conference 2005 held here last week, conference participants focused on the influx of new products as well as the changing mortgage market dynamics. Although the jury is still out on whether these changes are beneficial, especially considering the longer-term credit implications, panelists at different sessions agreed that one positive effect is these products increase homeownership, specifically to younger and immigrant population segments.

In her speech at the opening general session, MBA Chairwoman-elect Regina Lowrie noted that the private label market "has increased 15 fold since the 1980's," adding that IO ARMs represent a larger part of the non-conforming market versus fixed-rate loans across sectors. "It means that more borrowers of all types can get more kinds of mortgages," Lowrie said. Although crediting lenders for expanding the products base, she warned that, "The growth in the types of mortgages also means increased risk."

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