The National Mortgage Risk Index hit 11.84% in March, little changed from the average for the prior three months and up 0.3 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the American Enterprise Institute’s International Center on Housing Risk.  

Note: The AEI conducts its research independently, so these results are not the product of any government-sponsored enterprise or its regulators.

Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Finance Agency loans both hit series highs in March, while Fannie Mae and VA loans were just a shade below series highs.

First-time Buyer NMRI hit a new series high in March, clocking in at 15.14%, well above Repeat Buyer NMRI of 8.75%.

About 142,000 loans added in March, up from 135,000 a year earlier, bringing total in NMRI to 5.8 million.

“Credit standards for first-time buyers are not tight. Median FICO score for these buyers in March was 705, a bit below the median for all individuals in the U.S.,” the report says.

For first-time buyers using FHA loans, median FICO score was even lower at 671. Fannie and Freddie are not compensating for riskiness of high CLTV loans.

The Federal Housing Administration’s NMRI stood at 24.49% in March, up 0.1 percentage point from the average for the prior three months and 1.4 percentage points from a year earlier.