Mortgage credit availability increased 1.1% in November to reach a score of 188.8 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
Decreases in the index score show that lending standards are tightening, while increases indicate loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.
By product type, mortgage credit for conventional mortgages increased 2.4%, while credit for government loans decreased 0.1%.
Mortgage credit for jumbo loans increased 1.1% while credit for conforming loans increased 4.0%.
“The supply of credit continues to drift higher, driven once again by growth in the conventional credit space, while credit supply in government loans was essentially unchanged from the previous month,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement.
“There were more mortgage programs offered with high LTV and low credit score characteristics – likely attributable to rising demand from first-time buyers,” Kan says. “As seen in our weekly mortgage applications survey, average purchase loan amounts have moved lower in the second half of the year, which also supports first-timers’ increased presence in the market.”
Kan adds that even with the deceleration in price growth in many areas, “still-high home prices continue to lead to increased credit supply for jumbo loan programs.”