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Cashouts Lead Uptick in Credit Availability

Credit availability index up in June

July 9, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

Cashout lending was one of the factors behind eased mortgage lending standards last month, continuing a trend started earlier this year. Lending has barely thawed, however, from pre-crisis levels.

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index indicated that lenders loosened their purse strings in June.

The index, formally launched last month, was 109.8 in June.

The MCAI nudged up from a month earlier, when it stood at 108.9 in the inaugural report.

The index has risen three out of the past four months.

A value of 100 correlates with a base month of March 2012.

"The increase to the MCAI was primarily driven by a small uptick in the number of products which offer a cashout feature," the report from the Mortgage Bankers Association and AllRegs stated. "There were also small increases in the number of jumbo, investor, and higher LTV offerings."

Credit-related factors collected from more than 85 mortgage lenders and investors are used to determine the index. Borrower eligibility factors -- including credit score, loan type and loan-to-value ratio -- are based on client-lenders' use of the AllRegs Market Clarity product.

The data is then run through a proprietary formula derived by MBA to come up with the MCAI.

The lending measure moved higher from June 2012, when it roughly came in at 103 based on previously reported data.

The latest data indicates that credit availability is at levels not seen since 2011, the year that the data begins.

The report said that the index would have been around 800 if data had been tracked in 2007.

An earlier story from Mortgage Daily indicated that lending standards are likely to become more and more flexible as seller-servicers look for opportunities to replace some of the business they'll lose from retreating refinance activity.

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