NATNews Blog > February 2017 > ​Mortgage credit availability increases in January

    ​Mortgage credit availability increases in January

    2/8/2017 10:27:10 AM
    Mortgage credit availability increased in January according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) which analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool.
     
    The MCAI increased 1.1 percent to 177.1 in January.  A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit.  The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. Of the four component indices, the Jumbo MCAI saw the greatest increase in availability over the month (up 4.7 percent), followed by the Conventional MCAI (up 2.3 percent), and the Government MCAI (up 0.2 percent). The Conforming MCAI decreased over the month (down 0.1 percent). 
     
    “Mortgage credit availability increased for the fifth consecutive month in January, driven by increased availability of jumbo loan programs,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics.  “We saw a particular increase in agency jumbo programs that focus on loans in high cost areas that exceed the baseline conforming loan limit of $424,000 but which are still eligible for purchase by the GSEs.  While the change in GSE loan limits may have had an indirect impact on the jumbo MCAI, there were other factors at play as several investors rolled out new jumbo loan programs in January.”
     
    Conventional, Government, Conforming and Jumbo MCAIs Component Indices
    Of the four component indices, the Jumbo MCAI saw the greatest increase in availability over the month (up 4.7 percent), followed by the Conventional MCAI (up 2.3 percent), and the Government MCAI (up 0.2 percent). The Conforming MCAI decreased over the month (down 0.1 percent).  
     
    The Conventional, Government, Conforming, and Jumbo MCAIs are constructed using the same methodology as the Total MCAI and are designed to show relative credit risk/availability for their respective index. The primary difference between the total MCAI and the Component Indices are the population of loan programs which they examine. The Government MCAI examines FHA/VA/USDA loan programs, while the Conventional MCAI examines non-government loan programs. The Jumbo and Conforming MCAIs are a subset of the conventional MCAI and do not include FHA, VA or USDA loan offerings. The Jumbo MCAI examines conventional programs outside conforming loan limits while the Conforming MCAI examines conventional loan programs that fall under conforming loan limits. The Conforming and Jumbo indices have the same “base levels” as the Total MCAI (March 2012=100), while the Conventional and Government indices have adjusted “base levels” in March 2012. MBA calibrated the Conventional and Government indices to better represent where each index might fall in March 2012 (the “base period”) relative to the Total=100 benchmark.
     
    For more information on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, including Methodology, Frequently Asked Questions and other helpful resources, please click here or contact MBAResearch@mba.org.