Lending standards tighten slightly

by Justin da Rosa08 Feb 2016
Credit became slightly less available in January than the previous month, as lenders scaled back on providing two types of popular loans.

“Credit availability decreased over the month, driven by a decline in some FHA and conventional offerings as compared to the previous month,” Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “These declines in the MCAI were only partially offset by loosening among adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and jumbo lending programs.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index – which measures lending standards – decreased 0.1% to 123.8 in January, indicating that lenders tightened their standards.

“The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. Of the four component indices, the Conforming MCAI saw the greatest tightening (down 1.5 percent) over the month followed by the Government MCAI (down 0.8 percent),” the MBA said in a release. “The Conventional MCAI was unchanged, while the Jumbo MCAI increased 0.2 percent over the month.”

MBA now measures credit availability of five different mortgage types.

“Of the four component indices, the Conforming MCAI saw the greatest tightening (down 1.5 percent) over the month followed by the Government MCAI (down 0.8 percent),” the association said. “The Conventional MCAI was unchanged, while the Jumbo MCAI increased 0.2 percent over the month.”

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