Mortgage credit availability increased in August according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association which analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.

The MCAI increased 0.5% to 126.1 in August. 

“Mortgage credit availability increased in August and has increased in eight of the last nine months,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist. “While much of the loosening has been for jumbo loan products, the availability of conforming conventional mortgage credit has also somewhat increased, including for mortgages with higher loan-to-value ratios and borrowers with lower credit scores. 

“Fannie Mae recently announced changes to their affordability suite of products, but these changes have not yet impacted the MCAI,” he said.

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(Source: MBA)

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.

Of the four component indices, the Jumbo MCAI saw the greatest loosening (up 0.7% over the month) followed by the Conventional MCAI (up 0.5%), the Government MCAI (up 0.4%), and the Conforming MCAI (up 0.3%).