Mortgage credit availability in the U.S. increased in February 2022, according to the latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index.
The MCAI rose by 1.0 percent to 126.0 in February. 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 3.2 percent, while the Government MCAI decreased by 0.9 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 3.9 percent, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 2.2 percent.
"Credit availability increased to its highest level since May 2021, driven by growth in jumbo loan programs, as well as those that include allowances for ARMs and expanded credit score and LTV requirements," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "In a period of rising mortgage rates, affordability challenges, and declining volume, lenders have made efforts to slightly broaden their product offerings."