DEC 10, 2013 12:28pm ET

Mortgage Credit Tightens in November as Lenders Continue QM Preparations: MBA

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Originators pulling back on certain products as they prepare for the qualified mortgage rule implementation in January had the largest effect on credit availability in November, the Mortgage Bankers Association says.

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index fell 1.2% to 110.2 from 111.5 in October as a significant number of loan programs allowing for loan-to-value ratios over 95% and low-to-mid range minimum credit scores were either discontinued in November, or transitioned into programs with lower LTV maximums and/or higher minimum credit scores.

Lenders also continued cutting back offering programs with loan terms longer than 30 years and interest-only loans.

The index is calculated by the MBA using data from AllRegs’ Market Clarity. This decline brings MCAI to its lowest level since June. It means that in three of the past four months, credit availability has tightened.

The benchmark number of 100 was established based on market conditions in March 2012. If the index existed at the height of the boom in 2007, it would have been in the area of 800.

On the positive side, investors increased the number of cash-out refinance products available for well-qualified borrowers, the MBA says.

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