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Credit Loosens as New Refi Programs Come on Line

Higher interest rates pushed refinancing lower in August and lenders moved to generate more origination activity. That, in part, led to an increase in overall credit access. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) gained 3.9 percent to 123.7 during the month. An increase in the index indicates credit is loosening.

The Conventional MCAI increased 7.6 percent, while the Government MCAI grew 1.1 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI was up 9.4 percent, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 5.1 percent.

“Credit availability increased in August, driven by significant activity across all indexes,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “This expansion was heavily driven by the addition of refinance loan programs at a time when the 30-year fixed rate has been above 3 percent for the past month, and refinance activity has trended lower.

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