Mortgage credit availability decreased slightly in March compared with February, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
The index decreased 0.2% to a score of 123.5. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases are indicative of loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.
Credit for government-backed loans saw the greatest loosening – up 0.9% – while credit for conventional loans saw the most tightening – down 1.6%. Credit availability for jumbo loans decreased 0.2% and credit availability for conforming loans decreased 0.4%.
“On net, mortgage credit availability tightened very slightly in March,” says Lynn Fisher, vice president of research and economics for the MBA, in a statement. “Administrative changes drove declines in the availability of conventional and super conforming loan programs, and those were partially offset by slightly relaxed lending standards on government lending programs, which includes the Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs and Rural Housing Service.”
The report analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.