There was good news and more good news in the latest housing industry-focused data.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA
) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCIA) inched up 0.2 percent to 181.0 in June. Three of the four indexes saw increases for the month: The Conventional MCAI (up 5.5 percent), the Jumbo MCAI (up 9.3 percent) and the Conforming MCAI (up by 1 percent). Only the Government MCAI decreased, slipping by 3.9 percent.
"Mortgage credit loosened slightly, led mainly by an increase in the jumbo MCAI, which represented fierce competition among lenders for prime jumbo borrowers," said MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni. "However, this loosening was almost completely offset by a decline in credit for government loan programs. The Government MCAI has tightened in recent months, driven largely by policy actions to reduce churning in the Veterans Administration's Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan program."
Separately, new data from CoreLogic
determined that 4.2 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency in April, down 0.6 percent from one year earlier. The foreclosure inventory rate was 0.6 percent during April, down by a scant 0.1 percent from one year earlier. However, the rate as the lowest for that month since April 2007, when it was also 0.6 percent.
The rate for early-stage delinquencies was 1.8 percent in April, down from 2.2 percent one year earlier. The share of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due in April was 0.6 percent, unchanged from April 2017, while the serious delinquency rate was 1.9 percent, down from 2 percent one year earlier and down to its the lowest level for that month since 2007 when it was 1.6 percent.
"Delinquency rates are nearing historic lows, except in areas impacted by extreme weather over the past 18 months, reflecting a long period of strict underwriting practices and improved economic conditions," said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Last year's hurricanes and wildfires continue to affect today's default rates. The percent of loans 90 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure are more than double what they were before last autumn's hurricanes in Houston, Texas and Naples, Florida. The 90-day-plus delinquent or in-foreclosure rate has also quadrupled in Puerto Rico."