According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index, mortgage credit availability in the U.S. increased in October 2018.
The MCAI increased 2.5 percent to 186.7 in October. 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 5.5 percent) and the Government MCAI decreased (down 0.4 percent). Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 6.3 percent while the Conforming MCAI increased by 4.6 percent.
"Credit availability increased in October, driven largely by an expansion in the supply of conventional credit, while government credit fell slightly over the month," said Joel Kan, MBA's AVP of economic and industry forecasting. "Reversing a trend from last month, lenders made more conventional and low down payment programs available to prospective borrowers. This increase in supply was likely in response to a growing number of first-time home buyers in the market, as home price appreciation has slowed and wage growth has picked up. Jumbo credit availability also expanded last month, with the jumbo index increasing again to its highest level since the survey began."
According to Freddie Mac's newest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, U.S. mortgage rates increased slightly across the board in mid-October 2018. Despite volatility in the stock market, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched forward just 1 basis point to 4.86 percent this week.
U.S. mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 8.2 percent compared to September 2017. Compared to August 2018, applications decreased by 9 percent. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's newest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 5, 2018, mortgage applications in the U.S. decreased 1.7 percent from one week earlier.