Mortgage credit availability increased in November according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs® Market Clarity® business information tool.
The MCAI rose by 0.7 percent to 122.2 in November. 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. The Conventional MCAI increased 1.3 percent, while the Government MCAI increased by 0.3 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 1.6 percent, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 0.9 percent.
“Mortgage credit availability increased slightly in November to its highest level since July, as the job market improved, and the housing sector continued to show strong borrower demand,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “There was an increase in credit availability for jumbo loans, as well as loan products with low credit scores, higher LTVs and adjustable-rate features. Home purchase and refinance activity have remained strong in recent months, and the increased credit supply should help qualified borrowers still looking to capitalize on record-low mortgage rates. However, credit availability is still more than 30 percent below pre-pandemic levels and close to the restricted standards seen in 2014. This has especially impacted government borrowers and first-time buyers.”