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Credit availability tightens in December

Mortgage credit tightened at the end of last year, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

MBA’s credit availability index decreased by 7.3 percent to 175 in December, indicating that credit was less available.

“The decline was driven by a sharp decrease in the conventional credit space, as we saw the expiration of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP),” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

“Credit availability in government loans was stable over the month, ticking up slightly,” Kan added. “We also saw a decline in high balance and super conforming programs, which drove the decline in the jumbo index.”

MBA’s index tracking conventional loan availability was down 14.5 percent, and the government index declined by 0.1 percent. Among conventional loans, the jumbo index decreased by 14.9 percent, while the conforming index dropped by 14 percent.

The trade group’s overall index was benchmarked at 100 in March 2012, when conditions were especially tight. 


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