Mortgage credit availability inches higher in March – MBA

Trade association says trend is "indicative of loosening credit"

Mortgage credit availability inches higher in March – MBA

Mortgage credit availability inched higher in March, according to new figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

MBA’s mortgage credit availability index (MCAI) rose by 0.6% to 125.4 in March, which the association said is indicative of loosening credit.

Read more: Mortgage credit availability recovers from COVID-19 slump

“Credit availability inched higher in March, driven by the ongoing economic and job market recovery,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at MBA. “This has increased the amount of low credit score and high LTV [loan-to-value] products.”

Kan added that all the market segments covered by our sub-indexes “increased over the month, notably government and jumbo indexes.”

“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,” said Kan. “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.”

Additionally, Kan said that 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.”

“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,” said Kan.