The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) is a measurement of how easy it is to acquire a mortgage tax credit, which allows buyers with lower incomes to acquire mortgages without worrying so much about the tax payments. The MCAI went up by 0.6% in April, indicating loosening standards for getting a mortgage credit. First-time homebuyers, presently a large homebuying cohort, are especially helped by this since they often have lower incomes, lower credit scores, and outstanding debt.
This move is not without risks, though. One of the differences between the current recession and the recession of 2007 is that our lending standards are tighter now. Tighter lending standards are part of what helped the real estate industry avoid the brunt of the current recession. However, first-time homebuyers are seeing far more competition than they would have ever expected. In many cases they’re losing out to more established buyers with better credit or higher incomes. Loosening standards is a risk, but it may pay off if we can help lower income homebuyers get their foot in the door.