Mortgage credit availability decreased in March according to the latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that analyzes data from ICE Mortgage Technology.
- The MCAI fell by 0.7% to 125.1 in March. 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 0.3%, while the Government MCAI decreased by 1.6%.
- Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 1.5%, and the Conforming MCAI fell by 1.9%.
“Overall credit availability was down slightly in March, driven by a reduction in higher LTV, lower credit score programs,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Credit availability has gradually trended higher since mid-2021 but remains around 30% tighter than it was in early 2020. There were also mixed trends for the various loan categories, as conventional loan credit availability increased for the second month in a row, while government credit supply decreased to its tightest level since February 2014. Additionally, jumbo credit expanded for the tenth time in the past 12 months but remained almost 40% lower than the pre-pandemic level.”