Mortgage lenders are continuing to relax standards, with the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) increasing 0.4 percent to 177.8 in February. The MCAI indicates the overall standard by which lenders are offering credit; an increase equates to loosening, while a decrease equates to tightening.
“Credit availability loosened slightly in February, due to the net result of two countervailing movements,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of Research and Economics, in a statement. “The supply of credit increased as more investors offered affordable low down payment mortgages and streamlined documentation loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Veterans Administration; however, the impact of that increase on the overall index was partially offset by the first downturn in the availability of jumbo credit in a year due to the consolidation of some jumbo programs.”
The MCAI is comprised of four indices: Conforming, Conventional, Government and Jumbo. The Government MCAI increased 2.3 percent in February, while the Conforming MCAI increased 0.1 percent. The Conventional MCAI decreased 2.2 percent, and the Jumbo MCAI decreased 4.4 percent.