WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The amount of available mortgage credit for U.S. consumers increased to 186.7 in October, the highest level since the crisis, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Tuesday.
According to the MBA, the latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) rose 2.53 percent from September's 182.1, and the previous post-crisis high was 184.1 in July.
An increase MCAI indicates loosening credit, while a decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening.
"Reversing a trend from last month, lenders made more conventional and low down payment programs available to prospective borrowers," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.
"This increase in supply was likely in response to a growing number of first-time home buyers in the market, as home price appreciation has slowed and wage growth has picked up," Kan said.
According to the data released by the U.S. Labor Department on Friday, wages for U.S. workers increased 3.1 percent year-over-year, the biggest increase in average hourly earnings since 2009.
The MCAI is calculated using several factors related to borrower eligibility, including credit score, loan type and loan-to-value ratio. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.