Mortgage credit availability increased 0.6% in December compared with November to reach a score of 175.2 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. A decrease in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases are indicative of loosening credit.
The index includes four component indices to indicate credit availability for jumbo, conventional, government and conforming loans separately.
For December, the jumbo index saw the greatest increase in availability – up 1.3% compared with November. Credit for conventional loans increased 0.7%, credit for government loans increased 0.6%, and credit for conforming loans increased 0.04%.
“Credit availability was up for the fourth consecutive month in December, driven by jumbo loan programs, as well as loan programs for borrowers with lower credit scores and low down payments,” says Lynn Fisher, vice president of research and economics for the MBA, in a statement.
The MCAI analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.