Mortgage Credit Availability Increases for Third Consecutive Month in October

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) on Tuesday (11-14-23) released its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) report for October. According to the MCAI, which analyzes data from the ICE Mortgage Technology, mortgage credit availability increased in October.

The MCAI increased 1.0% to a reading of 98.2 in October. The MBA notes that a decline 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 1.7%, while the Government MCAI increased 0.3%. Of the component indices the Conventional MCAI, and the Jumbo MCAI rose 2.7% and the Conforming MCAI was unchanged.

In remarks prepared to accompany the release of the October MCAI, MBA Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan said:

“Mortgage credit availability rose in October, but the growth was driven by increased activity in the jumbo market. The jumbo index increased by 2.7% to the highest level in 14 months—its third straight monthly increase. However, despite the uptick in credit availability recently, we are still close to the lowest levels since 2013. Loan offerings remain narrower as lenders have reduced capacity to cope with the lower origination volumes. Some lenders responded to the challenging rate environment and offered more ARM products, as mortgage rates increased by over 40 basis points on average in October, reaching almost 8% in the second half of the month.”

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