October Mortgage Credit Availability Shows Improvement
Mortgage credit availability increased in October after falling to a six-year low in September, the the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning.
The MBA Mortgage Credit Availability Index rose by 2.3 percent to 121.3 in October. The Conventional MCAI increased by 5.1 percent, while the Government MCAI increased by 0.2 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 6.1 percent and the Conforming MCAI rose by 4.1 percent.
“Credit availability increased in October for the first time since July,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The ongoing economic recovery and improving labor market led to a rise in credit supply for various loan types. There was an overall increase in credit availability for low credit score and higher LTV loans, with conventional credit supply increasing 5.1 percent and government credit staying essentially flat.”
Kan noted despite October’s slight turnaround, credit availability remains constrained to near a low last seen in 2014. “After seeing a drop in supply of around 60 percent since the onset of the pandemic, the jumbo index rebounded 6.1 percent in October to its highest level since July of this year,” he said. “There was also an increase in ARM loan supply, likely driven by the GSEs’ September 30 deadline for LIBOR ARM loan applications. More lenders rolled out SOFR ARMs following the deadline.”
The MCAI analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool. 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, Government, Conforming and Jumbo MCAIs are constructed using the same methodology as the Total MCAI and are designed to show relative credit risk/availability for their respective index. The primary difference between the total MCAI and the Component Indices are the population of loan programs which they examine. The Government MCAI examines FHA/VA/USDA loan programs, while the Conventional MCAI examines non-government loan programs. The Jumbo and Conforming MCAIs are a subset of the conventional MCAI and do not include FHA, VA, or USDA loan offerings. The Jumbo MCAI examines conventional programs outside conforming loan limits, while the Conforming MCAI examines conventional loan programs that fall under conforming loan limits.
Expanded Historical Series
The Total MCAI has an expanded historical series, which gives perspective on credit availability going back 10 years (expanded historical series does not include Conventional, Government, Conforming or Jumbo MCAI). The expanded historical series covers 2004 through 2010, and was created to provide historical context to the current series by showing how credit availability has changed over the past 10 years–this includes the housing crisis and ensuing recession. Data prior to March 31, 2011, was generated using less frequent and less complete data measured at six-month intervals and interpolated in the months between for charting purposes. Methodology on the expanded historical series from 2004 to 2010 has not been updated.
About the Mortgage Credit Availability Index
The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index solely focused on mortgage credit.
The MCAI is calculated using several factors related to borrower eligibility (credit score, loan type, loan-to-value ratio, etc.). These metrics and underwriting criteria for more than 95 lenders/investors are combined by MBA using data made available via the AllRegs Market Clarity product and a proprietary formula derived by MBA to calculate the MCAI, a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time. Base period and values for total index is March 31, 2012=100; Conventional March 31, 2012=73.5; Government March 31, 2012=183.5.
To learn more about the Ellie Mae AllRegs Market Clarity platform visit http://answers.allregs.com/MCAI-Market-Clarity. For more information on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, including Methodology, Frequently Asked Questions and other helpful resources, visit www.mba.org/MortgageCredit or contact MBAResearch@mba.org.