Mortgage credit availability increased in March, rising 0.6% compared with February to reach a score of 125.4 on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA)
Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). Credit availability for conventional loans increased 0.8%, compared with the previous month, while credit for government loans increased 0.4%.
Credit for jumbo loans increased 1.5% while credit for conforming loans rose by 0.2%. “Credit availability inched higher in March, driven by the ongoing economic and job market recovery,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, in a statement. “This has increased the amount of low credit score and high LTV products.
“All the market segments covered by our sub-indexes increased over the month, notably government and jumbo indexes,” Kan says. “The government index, which includes FHA, VA, and RHS mortgages, increased for the sixth time in seven months to its highest level in a year. As we look ahead to the expected growth in the purchase market, which will be driven by millennials and first-time home buyers, credit availability to qualified borrowers will play an important role in supporting this demand.
“Jumbo credit supply increased for the sixth consecutive month, a strong rebound after many lenders pulled back in the first half of 2020 at the onset of the pandemic,” Kan adds. “Jumbo availability is increasing again as the economy regains its footing and coincides with the strong demand for homebuying and accelerated home price growth in many markets.”
The report analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.