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U.S. Mortgage Credit Availability Increased in November

Based on a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage credit availability in the U.S. increased in November 2018, according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index.

The MCAI increased 1.1 percent to 188.8 in November. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. The Conventional MCAI increased (2.4 percent) and the Government MCAI decreased (0.1 percent). Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 1.1 percent, while the Conforming MCAI increased by 4.0 percent.

“The supply of credit continues to drift higher, driven once again by growth in the conventional credit space, while credit supply in government loans was essentially unchanged from the previous month,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “There were more mortgage programs offered with high LTV and low credit score characteristics – likely attributable to rising demand from first-time buyers. As seen in our weekly mortgage applications survey, average purchase loan amounts have moved lower in the second half of the year, which also supports first-timers’ increased presence in the market.”

Added Kan, “Even with the deceleration in price growth in many areas, still high home prices continue to lead to increased credit supply for jumbo loan programs.”

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