Mortgage credit availability was flat in February compared with January, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
Credit availability for conventional loans decreased 0.3% compared with the previous week while credit availability for government loans increased 0.3%.
Credit for jumbo loans increased 0.2% while credit for conforming loans fell by 0.7%.
“Credit availability in February was unchanged from January, remaining close to its lowest level since 2014,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “The housing market is in strong shape heading into the spring, with robust growth in purchase applications, home sales, and new residential construction. Government credit supply has increased in five of the past six months, albeit in small increments, but remains tight by historical standards. This adds another obstacle for many aspiring first-time buyers who are already navigating supply and affordability constraints.”
Adds Kan, “Expected home sales growth this year is still likely to be driven by first-time buyers, spurred by millennials reaching peak first-time homebuyer age. Many of these potential buyers will likely utilize FHA and other low down payment loans to purchase a home.”
The report analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.
Photo: Tierra Mallorca