Mortgage credit availability increased in March, rising 1.1% to a score of 182.1 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
Credit availability for conventional loans increased 3.6%, while credit availability for government loans decreased 1.2%.
Within the conventional realm, credit for jumbo loans increased by 5.2% while credit for conforming loans increased by 1.4%
Decreases in the MCAI indicate that lending standards are tightening, while increases are indicative of loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.
“Credit availability increased in March, primarily due to a spike in jumbo mortgage offerings,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “The jumbo sub-index increased five percent and reached its highest level since last November, as the recent decline in mortgage rates led to a jump in refinances from borrowers with larger loans.
“The credit supply for government loans decreased in March, as investors continue to reduce FHA and VA streamline refi offerings,” Kan adds.