The problem is, banks are still feeling nervous about lending to even creditworthy Americans, having been burned so recently by making loans to homeowners who couldn’t pay them off. As a result, by most measures, credit standards have remained extremely tight, fueling a lot of pessimism about the housing recovery. But Capital Economics, a UK-based research firm, believes there are signs that banks may be turning the corner.

Certainly, there are a lot of signs that lending hasn’t bounced back: the volume of mortgage lending has been falling, and lending standards are basically as high as they’ve ever been. But though banks have been reluctant to loan to more people, they are becoming more willing to loan more money to qualified buyers.