According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index, U.S. mortgage credit availability decreased in September 2018.
The MCAI decreased 0.8 percent to 182.1 in September. 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 (up 1.2 percent) and the Government MCAI decreased (down 2.5 percent). Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 2.7 percent while the Conforming MCAI decreased by 0.7 percent.
"Credit availability moved lower in September, as tightening in the government index offset an increase in conventional credit availability. The decline in government credit was driven by fewer streamline offerings as well as a decline in loan programs with lower credit requirements. The government index is at its lowest level since July 2015. The jumbo subindex increased for the fifth time in six months and reached its highest level since we started tracking jumbo credit," said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.
The National Association of Realtors is reporting this week that single female buyers continue to be a powerful force in the U.S. housing market, while low inventory, rising interest rates and increasing home prices remain, holding back first-time buyers despite notable interest in buying a home.