A collection of new policies intended to make it easier for first-time buyers to obtain mortgages is expected to trigger a wave of new home buyers in 2015, according to lenders and real estate officials. The recent changes include lower down payment requirements, reduced mortgage insurance premiums and more flexible lending standards. “It’s being predicted in Iowa and across the country: This is going to be a year when we see a lot of Millennials and first-time homebuyers get into the market,” says Brennan Buckley, general manager of Iowa Realty. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, notes that the changes are coming at the right time — interest rates remain low and the spring buying season is around the corner. Brad Blackwell, executive vice president for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, expects first-time home sales to grow less than 10 percent this year but says the increase would still be “meaningful.” Last year, rookie home buyers accounted for the smallest share of home sales — 33 percent — since 1987, according to the National Association of Realtors. | Read More