Policymakers count on a wide range of measures to gauge the state of the housing and mortgage markets, but when it comes to the availability of credit, are we as precise as we can be?
Given the many recent steps to increase access to mortgage lending, credit availability is at the center of housing finance policy discussions. But measuring access to credit is complicated. Traditional measures of credit availability, such as median credit scores or standard denial rates, are incomplete, unreliable, or lack historical accuracy. On January 6, the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center convened a panel of experts to discuss three promising new indices that provide a robust measurement of credit availability.
Three ways to better measure credit availability
CoreLogicMortgage Bankers Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index. “This Index was developed out of frustration,” Michael Fratantoni of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) noted, speaking of his organization’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). The MCAI relies on AllRegs Market Clarity Data to measure the quality and quantity of credit offered by wholesale lenders over time.