Mortgage credit availability increased in February, rising 0.6% to a score of 180.1 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA)Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
Mike Fratantoni, senior vice president and chief economist for the MBA, says the increase was in part due to the introduction of “new jumbo offerings brought to the market, both for agency jumbo and non-agency jumbo programs.”
“We also saw some expansion in credit for borrowers with lower credit scores and higher LTVs, although credit availability for government programs remains tighter following the scaling back of VA refinance programs,” Fratantoni says in a statement.
A decrease in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit.
The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.
Mortgage credit availability for conventional loans increased 1.1% while mortgage credit for government loans increased 0.1%.
Within the conventional category, credit for jumbo loans increased by 2.2% while credit for conforming loans decreased by 0.2%.