MBA: Mortgage Credit Availability Increased In March


Mortgage credit availability increased 3.2% in March to reach a score of 183.4 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).

That’s up from a score of 177.8 in February. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. Increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit, while decreases are indicative of tightening credit.

The index includes four sub-indices measuring credit availability for different loan types.

Credit availability for jumbo mortgages increased 11.7% in March compared with February. Credit for conventional mortgages increased 4.5%, while credit for government-backed loans increased 2.3%. Credit for conforming loans decreased 2.6%.

“Credit availability increased in March, driven by increased availability of jumbo loan programs and government loan programs,” says Lynn Fisher, vice president of research and economics for the MBA, in a statement. “Led by a wave of adjustable-rate jumbo offerings, the jumbo MCAI surged in March, more than offsetting its 4.4 percent decline in February, which was the first tightening of that component index in 11 months. Increases observed in the government MCAI were driven by increased availability of FHA’s Streamline Refinance and 203K home rehabilitation loan programs.”

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

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