Mortgage lending standards loosened slightly in June, indicating that mortgage credit is more available, according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) which analyzes data from AllRegs Market Clarity product. The MCAI increased to 109.8 last month which is almost one percent higher than the index reading from May. Lower MCAI values indicate lending standards are tightening, while higher index values and increases to the index are indicative of a loosening of credit.
Mortgage credit availability, which increased in June relative to May 2013, trended relatively lower throughout 2012 and is at levels close to those seen in 2011, when MBA first started calculating the index. The index increased to 109.8 in June from 108.9 in May 2013, and both are up from the benchmark level of 100 in March 2012. If the index had been tracked in 2007, it would have been roughly 800.
The increase to the MCAI was primarily driven by a small uptick in the number of products which offer a cash-out feature. There were also small increases in the number of jumbo, investor, and higher LTV offerings.