Housing Market

Mortgage credit availability declines, all-cash sales on rise

Money HouseMortgage credit availability fell slightly last month while the number of all-cash sales is on the rise, according to recent data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index declined approximately 0.2 percent in April.

“There continues to be countervailing trends in the data,” MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said. “On one hand, credit continues to be more available to jumbo borrowers, particularly those seeking adjustable rate mortgages, and we are beginning to see some loosening within conventional and FHA programs for conforming loans. On the other hand, some investors shut down or tightened criteria for certain programs.”

Conversely, data released by NAR showed the number of all-cash home purchases is on the rise, despite a decline in investor activity and distressed sales. All-cash purchases increased from 29 percent in 2012 to reach 33 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

In 2013, distressed home sales fell from 26 percent of the national market in 2012 to 17 percent, before falling to 15 percent in the first quarter of 2014. NAR said distressed home sales were likely to fall to a single-digit market share before the end of the year.

Florida saw the largest share of all-cash transactions—more than 50 percent of all homes purchased were purchased with cash. Other states with high all-cash sales were Nevada, Arizona and West Virginia.

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