The baseline score of 100 was created using data from all of 2012. August’s score of 106 is the highest so far this year. For July, the score was 103 and for June it was 100. The previous high point this year was April’s 104.
“As home prices rise, refinance activity slows and government programs change, potential borrowers are finding it easier to gain access to credit,” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree. “Lenders are easing downpayment and credit score requirements while still adhering to conforming loan guidelines. And as the private securitization market starts to bounce back, borrowers who didn’t qualify in the past may now have now have that opportunity.”
LendingTree’s data run counter to the Mortgage Bankers Association/AllRegs Mortgage Credit Availability Index. That measure declined between July and August by 0.7%.
The MBA said as lenders gear up for the qualified mortgage rule, offerings that did not meet the definition were pulled from the market. Furthermore, while there was some loosening in jumbo guidelines, there was an equal amount of lenders tightening in this area.