MBA: Mortgage Credit Availability Flat in April Compared with March

Mortgage credit availability was flat in April compared with March, staying pinned at a score of 177.9 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).

A decrease in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while an increase indicates that standards are loosening. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.

Credit availability for conventional loans increased 1.9%. Credit availability for government loans fell 1.4%.

Of the component indices of the conventional MCAI, credit availability for jumbo loans increased 4.4% while availability for conforming loans fell by 0.9%.

“Credit availability in April was unchanged overall, but the components told different stories,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “Government credit tightened slightly as investors continued to pull back on streamline refinance products, while conventional credit availability increased, driven mainly by an expansion in jumbo credit.

“The jumbo market remains competitive for lenders according to data from our Weekly Application Survey, as the spread between conforming 30 year fixed rate loans and jumbo 30 year fixed rate loans widened to 12 basis points over March and April, the widest this spread has been since early 2016,” Kan adds.

The MCAI analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

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