Based on a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association and data from ICE Mortgage Technology, U.S. mortgage credit availability increased in September 2023.
The MCAI rose by 0.6 percent to 97.2 in September. 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 MCAI increased 0.6 percent, while the Government MCAI increased by 0.6 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 0.8 percent, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 0.2 percent.
"Credit availability increased slightly in September, as lenders increased their loan offerings marginally to meet the changing needs of borrowers who are facing higher mortgage rates," said Joel Kan, MBA's Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. "There were more loan programs for ARM loans for borrowers seeking lower initial monthly payments and also some increases in non-QM product offerings. Credit availability increased across all loan categories, with the jumbo index increasing for the second straight month, driven by the expansion of ARM and non-QM offerings."
Added Kan, "Industry capacity has declined significantly since the peak originations months in 2021, and MBA expects to see further declines in originations volume, given the high interest rate environment and typical seasonal slowdown."