The Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting that U.S. mortgage credit availability decreased in July 2019, according to their most recent Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
The MCAI fell by 0.4 percent to 189.0 in July. 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 0.1 percent, while the Government MCAI decreased by 1.0 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 0.7 percent, and the Conforming MCAI fell by 0.8 percent.
"Credit availability in July decreased overall, driven by declines in the conforming and government indices. Conditions tightened some for borrowers with high loan-to-value ratios and lower credit scores," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "One outlier was the jumbo index, which increased to its highest level since the inception of this survey in 2012."
Added Kan, "The decline in the government index resulted from a pullback by investors in government high-balance and streamlined refinance products."
According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate in the U.S. averaged 3.60 percent in the first week of August 2019, the lowest it has been since November 2016.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 12, 2019, mortgage applications in the U.S. decreased 1.1 percent from one week earlier. Last week's results included an adjustment for the Fourth of July holiday.
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