Credit Access Takes a Hit as HARP Expires; Rates Stay Flat, But Could Follow Stocks Higher
Credit availability suffered an unusually large decline in December. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) fell 7.3 percent to 175.0 in December (it was 188.8 in November.) A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening. The MCAI has two major components and the loss in availability came entirely from the Conventional Index which decreased by 14.5 percent. The Government MCAI inched up by 0.1 percent. The Conventional MCAI itself has two components and both were down, the Jumbo MCAI by 14.9 percent and the Conforming by 14.0 percent. MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said. "The supply of credit dropped in December to its lowest since February 2017. The decline was driven by
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