Good news from Capital Economics: lenders are easing some standards and first-time home buyers are starting to take notice.? The firm reports that positive movement in unemployment, declining mortgage delinquencies, and clarity earlier in the year on buybacks from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has helped lenders open the doors for more credit-worthy borrowers.? As a result, first-time home buyers have increased during the year, according to several recent industry reports.? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates the current figure at 30%, while some?put it even higher.? In fact, Capital Economics researchers think these new buyers could increase even further if the current squeeze on housing supply (and resulting price increases) eases.