Mortgages Slightly More Available in October, MBA Says
Consumers seeking housing finance loans had a marginally easier time finding one in October than they have in recent months, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The association maintains a Mortgage Credit Availability Index which it reported had moved to 111.5 in October, up from 110.7 in September. For context, the association reported that the index hit a housing-bubble level of about 800 in 2007, indicating far greater mortgage availability then.
The MBA reported the MCAI decreased 0.7% to 110.7 in September following a similar decline in August, explaining that a decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of a loosening of credit.
The association attributed the decrease in the MCAI in September was driven by decreases in availability of loans that have a term greater than 30 years. Shifting borrower eligibility requirements on jumbo loan programs led to offsetting increases and decreases to the MCAI.
“Credit availability tightened last month as more lenders removed program offerings with loan terms greater than 30 years and/or interest-only features, similar to the trend we observed last month,” said Mike Fratantoni, the MBA’s vice president of research and economics.
“Just as before, we believe this reflects lenders implementation of the Ability to Repay/Qualified Mortgage regulation which comes fully into effect in January. Offsetting this tightening has been some increased willingness to offer higher LTV loans, particularly to jumbo borrowers,” Fratantoni said.