Forthcoming regulations could make conventional mortgages more expensive to the wide swath of homebuyers and owners who can't put 20% down, depressing originations and potentially undermining the housing recovery.

If 20% down becomes the standard for "qualifying residential mortgages" (QRM), nearly half of all current homeowners with a mortgage, and 70% of first-time homebuyers would not make the cut, according to the data firm CoreLogic.

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