Mortgage credit availability increased 1.4% in September compared with August to reach a score of 167.0 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
Driving the overall increase was a 1.9% increase in credit availability for government-backed loans. Credit for conventional loans increased 0.7%, credit for conforming loans increased 0.7%, and credit for jumbo loans increased 0.6%.
“The increase in credit availability in September was driven by more investors offering streamlined refinance programs to borrowers with U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] and Federal Housing Administration [FHA] loans,” said Lynn Fisher, vice president of research and economics for the MBA, in a release. “Streamline programs allow borrowers who have been consistently making their mortgage payments and meet other eligibility requirements to refinance their existing mortgage into a lower interest rate with reduced documentation requirements.”
Fisher added that although USDA/FHA programs accounted for most of the increase, the MBA also observed investors continuing rollout of new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac low down payment (97% loan-to-value) loan programs and some increased availability of jumbo loans.
The MCAI analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.