New lending guidelines from US federal mortgage corporations Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae mean that some homebuyers south of the border will only need a 3 per cent down payment. The US housing market has been slow to recover from the financial crisis when many lost savings and investments making property down payments impossible. The 3 per cent level will allow more low-income and first-time buyers to get on the property ladder which it’s hoped will boost the whole market. The federal agency which oversees Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae says that the new guidelines promote responsible lending. There has not been any indication of how many borrowers will be able to access the low down payment rate.