U.S. Mortgage Credit Availability Upticks in August

U.S. Mortgage Credit Availability Upticks in August

Residential News » Washington D.C. Edition | By WPJ Staff | September 14, 2023 12:37 PM ET

According to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index by Mortgage Bankers Association and ICE Mortgage Technology, U.S. mortgage credit availability increased in August 2023.

The MCAI rose by 0.3 percent to 96.6 in August. 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 0.6 percent, while the Government MCAI was unchanged. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 2.7 percent, and the Conforming MCAI fell by 2.7 percent.

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Joel Kan

"Credit availability in August increased slightly but remained close to the very low levels last seen in January 2013," said Joel Kan, MBA's Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. "The overall increase was driven by an increased number of loan programs that included parameters such as cash-out refinances and mid-range credit scores. The conforming index dropped to its lowest level since 2011, while the jumbo index increased after three monthly declines."

Added Kan, "Industry capacity continues to decline as lenders reduce staffing and simplify their product offerings to reduce costs and raise profitability. While this dynamic has led to lower credit availability, it has also provided some lenders with new opportunities to expand some of their product offerings, and we saw some of that growth in the jumbo space last month."

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