Mortgage credit availability increased 0.3% in September compared with August to reach a score of 126.5 on the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).
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 conventional mortgages saw the greatest loosening in September – up 1.1% compared with August. Credit for conforming mortgages was up 0.8%, while credit for jumbo loans was unchanged over the month. Credit for government loans decreased 0.2%.
Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, says the loosening in September was mainly due to some expansion of conventional affordable offerings.
‘In particular, this month there was an increase in the offerings of Freddie Mac's affordable lending programs,’ Fratantoni says.
The MCAI report analyzes data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.