MBA: Mortgage Credit Availability Up 5th Straight Month

MBA NewsLink Staff

February 07, 2017


Mortgage credit availability increased in January for the fifth consecutive monthly increase, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Mortgage Credit Availability Index.

The MCAI increased by 1.1 percent to 177.1 in January. 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 MCAI analyzes data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool. 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.

"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 government-sponsored enterprises," said MBA Vice President of Research and Economics Lynn Fisher. "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."

Expanded Historical Series
The Total MCAI has an expanded historical series which gives perspective on credit availability going back 10 years (expanded historical series does not include Conventional, Government, Conforming or Jumbo MCAI). The expanded historical series covers 2004 through 2010, and was created to provide historical context to the current series by showing how credit availability has changed over the past 10 years--this includes the housing crisis and ensuing recession. Data prior to March 31, 2011, was generated using less frequent and less complete data measured at six-month intervals and interpolated in the months between for charting purposes. Methodology on the expanded historical series from 2004 to 2010 has not been updated.

About the Mortgage Credit Availability Index
The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index solely focused on mortgage credit.

The MCAI is calculated using several factors related to borrower eligibility (credit score, loan type, loan-to-value ratio, etc.). These metrics and underwriting criteria for more than 95 lenders/investors are combined by MBA using data made available via the AllRegs Market Clarity product and a proprietary formula derived by MBA to calculate the MCAI, a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time. Base period and values for total index is March 31, 2012=100; Conventional March 31, 2012=73.5; Government March 31, 2012=183.5.

To learn more about the Ellie Mae AllRegs Market Clarity platform visit http://answers.allregs.com/MCAI-Market-Clarity. For more information on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, including Methodology, Frequently Asked Questions and other helpful resources, visit www.mba.org/MortgageCredit or contact MBAResearch@mba.org.

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