Mortgage credit eases as jumbo lending expands

Mortgage credit availability rose for the fourth straight month in February as financing for jumbo mortgages continued to expand, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

The trade group’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) increased 0.44 percent to 114 in March from 113.5 in February. An increase in the index reflects easing credit conditions, while a decline shows that they are tightening.

The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. If the MCAI had been tracked in 2007, the tail end of the housing boom, the index would have registered a level of roughly 800.

“The trend of increased availability for jumbo loan programs is consistent with behavior MBA has been monitoring in its Weekly Applications Survey which shows growth in purchase volume for applications with higher loan amounts and contraction in home purchase application volume for lower-balance loans,” the MBA said in a statement.

Source: MBA