According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, U.S. mortgage credit availability increased in September according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). The MCAI increased 1.4 percent to 167.0 in September 2016.
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. Of the four component indices, the Government MCAI saw the greatest increase in availability over the month (up 1.9 percent), followed by the Conventional MCAI (up 0.7 percent), the Conforming MCAI (up 0.7 percent), and the Jumbo MCAI (up 0.6 percent).
"The increase in credit availability in September was driven by more investors offering streamlined refinance programs to borrowers with USDA and FHA loans." said Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "Streamline programs allow borrowers who have been consistently making their mortgage payments and meet other eligibility requirements, to refinance their existing mortgage into a lower interest rate with reduced documentation requirements. While these programs accounted for most of the increase, we also observed investors continuing their rollout of the new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac low down payment (97 LTV) loan programs, and some increased availability of jumbo loans."
The Federal Reserve cut its federal funds rate today by 25 basis points (bps) to a range of 2.0% to 2.25%. This cut represents a marked change in the direction of monetary policy in the first half of 2019.
Marking the one-year anniversary of the White House executive order on workforce development this week, Greg Ugalde, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders issued the following statement
Existing-home sales in the U.S. weakened in June 2019, as total sales saw a small decline after a previous month of gains. While two of the four major U.S. regions recorded minor sales jumps, the other two - the South and the West - experienced greater declines last month.
According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, after declining for most of 2019, U.S. mortgage rates remained mostly unchanged this first week of July. The recent stabilization in mortgage rates reflects modestly improving U.S. economic data.
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