Mortgage credit availability increased 0.5% in August compared to July to reach an index score of 126.1 on the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, points out that mortgage credit availability had increased for eight of the previous nine months.
‘While much of the loosening has been for jumbo loan products, the availability of conforming conventional mortgage credit has also somewhat increased, including for mortgages with higher loan-to-value ratios and borrowers with lower credit scores,’ Fratantoni says in a statement. ‘Fannie Mae recently announced changes to [its] affordability suite of products, but these changes have not yet impacted the MCAI.’
A decline 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 jumbo loans increased 0.7%, month over month, while credit for conventional, government and conforming loans increased 0.5%, 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.