On Thursday it was reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that mortgage credit availability increased in February. MBA’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) analyzes data received from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool. The MCAI increased 0.4 percent last month, which indicates the loosening of credit.
Government MCAI saw the greatest increase in availability, followed by the Conforming MCAI. The Conventional MCAI, however, decreased 2.2 percent while the Jumbo MCAI decreased double that percentage.
“Credit availability loosened slightly in February, due to the net result of two countervailing movements. 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,” said Lynn Fisher MBA’s VP for Research and Economics. “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.”
In other housing news, MBA released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey on Wednesday for the week ending March 3, 2017. The report found applications increased 3.3 percent on seasonally-adjusted basis, and 16 percent unadjusted week-over-week. In addition, the average loan size for purchase applications reached a high of $313,000, and 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rates increased .06 percent. The rise in mortgage rates is expected to be correlated with the anticipation of a possible federal rate hike next week.