Access to mortgage, as measured by the Mortgage Credit
Availability Index (MCAI), decreased in May.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said the MCAI pulled back 1.1 percent
to 181.0. The index was benchmarked at 100 in March 2012 and a decline indicates
tightening of credit standards. Two of the component indices also decreased while
the other two moved higher.
slipped in May, primarily driven by investors consolidating their offerings for
government insured loans,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research
and Economics. “These decreases were partially offset by continued expansion
among jumbo loan programs. The Jumbo MCAI has increased in 13 of the last 15
As Fisher noted, the
Government MCAI saw the greatest decrease in availability over the month (down
1.9 percent), followed by the Conforming MCAI (down 0.3 percent). The
Conventional MCAI (up 0.2 percent) and the Jumbo MCAI (up 0.8 percent) both
increased from last month.
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.