According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, U.S. mortgage credit availability increased in January 2019, based on their latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
The MCAI rose 2.3 percent to 179.0 in January. 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 (4.9 percent), while the Government MCAI was unchanged. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Conforming MCAI increased by 7.3 percent, and the Jumbo MCAI increased by 3.0 percent.
"There was an increase in the supply of mortgage credit in January, which was a reversal from the December pullback that was caused by the end of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and a reduction in jumbo offerings," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Last month, investors and lenders added more programs to cater to lower credit score borrowers, in addition to new relief refinance programs. These relief refinance programs are not a direct replacement for HARP, but do serve a similar purpose to assist borrowers who may have run into financial challenges."
According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the U.S. dropped 10 basis points to 4.31 percent. Mortgage rates declined decisively this week amid various market reports.
According to CBRE's latest U.S. Data Center Trends Report, demand from large cloud users drove U.S. data center leasing to record levels in 2018, providing momentum for new construction in the sector this year.
According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, U.S. mortgage rates held steady in the last week of February, after declining for three consecutive weeks. Mortgage rates remained mostly unchanged this week.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales in the U.S. experienced a dip for the third consecutive month in January 2019. Of the four major U.S. regions, only the Northeast saw an uptick in sales activity last month.
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