MBA: Mortgage Credit Availability Decreased Slightly In April

After increasing 3.2% in March, mortgage credit availability decreased 0.2% in April, falling to a score of 183.0 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).

The March index score was 183.4, and the February score was 177.8.

The index, which was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012, uses data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool to arrive at its estimates. A decrease in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit.

Looking at the four component indices, credit availability for conforming loans decreased 0.9%; credit availability for conventional loans decreased 0.6%; credit availability for jumbo loans decreased 0.4%; and credit availability for government loans remained unchanged compared with the previous month.

“After some program changes early in the year and some merger activity among investors, credit availability held fairly steady in April, with little discernible change in the composition of the supply of credit for government and jumbo programs,” says Lynn Fisher, vice president of research and economics for the MBA, in a release. “Conforming credit availability has slipped a bit since the beginning of the year, with fewer program offerings along a range of credit characteristics and no particular culprit.”

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