Mortgage credit availability increased in April according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.
The MCAI rose by 2.2 percent to 128.1 in April. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit. (The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.)
The Conventional MCAI increased 4.8 percent, while the Government MCAI increased by 0.1 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 6.9 percent, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 12.6 percent.
“Credit availability rose in April, fueled by a 5 percent increase in conventional mortgage credit, as well as an expansion in agency programs for ARMs and high-balance loans; The uptick in credit supply comes as the housing market and economy continue to strengthen,” says Joel Kan, the MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.
“One trend that has developed in recent months is the rising demand for ARMs, driven by higher rates for fixed mortgages and faster home-price appreciation,” he adds. “Despite this month’s increase, mortgage credit supply has not returned to pre-pandemic levels, given the over 2 million loans still in forbearance.”