Mortgage standards tighten in August

by Francis Monfort13 Sep 2018

Credit standards tightened slightly in August from July, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) declined 0.3% to 183.5 in August. The index analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity tool. An increase in the index would indicate loosening lending standards.

"Overall credit availability saw a slight decrease in August, for the first time in four months, as the jumbo index retreated from its record high in July. Strong month-over-month increases in the jumbo index reversed because of a reduction in the number of jumbo programs. The decline in jumbo credit availability was offset partially by an increase in the conforming index, which increased over the month due to the addition of low-down-payment programs," said Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

Changes in the MCAI’s component indices were mixed over the same period. The conventional MCAI decreased 0.9%, while the government MCAI increased slightly by 0.1%. Of the component indices of the conventional MCAI, the jumbo MCAI decreased by 2.1%, while the conforming MCAI increased by 0.8%.

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