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Economics

Mortgage Credit for Some Americans Drying Up Amid Supply Deluge

  • Index of housing credit availability down 35% from last year
  • Mortgage-bond supply set for biggest year since at least 2003
Las Vegas Home-Price Surge Spotlights Disconnect In U.S. Economy
Photographer: Roger Kisby/Bloomberg

A flood of mortgage-bond supply combined with a dearth of credit for lower-quality borrowers point to how the U.S. housing market is becoming more uneven when it comes to access to historically cheap debt.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of housing credit availability dropped last month to the lowest since February 2014. The benchmark has slipped eight of nine months this year and stands 35% lower than at the same time in 2019. The index is a broad measure of credit supply that weights various borrower credit characteristics and the range of products available to them.