The ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mortgagebankers.org/ (MBA) announced a partnership with ""AllRegs"":http://www.allregs.com/default.aspx Tuesday as part of an effort to offer a monthly index that measures mortgage credit availability.[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]
Dubbed the ""Mortgage Credit Availability Index"":http://www.mortgagebankers.org/ResearchandForecasts/MCAI.htm (MCAI), the measurement calculates several factors related to borrower eligibility such as credit score, loan type, and loan-to-value ratio.
""We expect that the MCAI will be a valuable new source of information for market participants, policymakers and researchers,"" said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's VP of research and economics.
With a March 2012 benchmark value of 100, the MCAI increased to 108.9 in May, up slightly from 108.6 in April. If tracked in 2007, the index would have had a score of roughly 800.
According to the MBA, the index also showed an increase in loan programs (such as HARP) that allow loan-to-value ratios greater than 95 percent, and some investors have lowered their minimum credit scores requirements.
""HARP lending continues to be an important component of the market. The availability of these very high LTV loans is one of the factors leading to the MCAI showing an increase over the past year,"" added Fratantoni.