Credit standards tightened in March from February, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) declined 1.5% to 177.9 during the month. The index analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity tool. An increase in the index would indicate loosening lending standards.
"Mortgage credit availability decreased in March, driven by both conventional and government loan programs,” said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Research and Economics. “The government MCAI saw the largest decrease, which was driven by investors making adjustments to their interest rate reduction offerings for FHA and VA loans.”
All index components recorded declines during the month. The government MCAI fell by 2.1%, more than the 0.8% decline in the conventional MCAI. The component indices of the conventional MCAI both decreased from February, with the conforming MCAI 0.8%, more than the 0.7% slip in the jumbo MCAI.