Mortgage credit availability increased in April, rising 2.15% compared with March to a score of 186.0 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
Credit availability for conventional loans increased 4.3%, compared with March, while credit availability for government loans was unchanged.
Within the conventional category, credit availability for jumbo loans increased 6.8% while credit availability for conforming loans increased 1.2%.
Decreases in the index score indicate that lending standards are tightening, while increases are indicative of loosening credit.
The index, which is based on data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool, was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.
“Credit supply increased two percent in April and was driven by a seven percent gain in the jumbo index, which reached its highest level since the beginning of the MCAI in 2011,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “Additionally, investors continued a trend from March of further increasing their willingness to purchase more non-QM and non-agency jumbo loans.
“The high-end of the purchase market had shown weakness earlier this year, before the recent decline in mortgage rates, and it appears investors are trying to remain competitive in that segment of the market,” Kan adds.