Access to mortgage credit continued its
recent upward trend in November. The
Mortgage Bankers Association said on Monday that its Mortgage Credit
Availability Index (MCAI), increased by 1.6 percent from October to 174.1. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are
tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit.
Lynn Fisher, MBA’s
Vice President of Research and Economics said of the index, “Mortgage credit
availability increased for the third consecutive month in November, driven by
increased availability of conventional low down payment and streamlined
refinance loan programs.”
Of the four component
indices, the Conforming MCAI saw the greatest increase in availability over the
month (up 2.2 percent), followed by the Government MCAI (up 1.8 percent), the
Conventional MCAI (up 1.5 percent), and the Jumbo MCAI (up 0.8 percent).
The MCAI analyzes data
from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs® Market Clarity® business information tool. The index
was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. The Conforming and Jumbo indices have the
same “base” level as the MCAI and now stand at approximately* 93 and 220
respectively. MBA says it used that same
date to calibrate the other two indices “to better represent where each index
might fall in 2012” and set those bases at 73.5 for Conventional loans and
183.5 for Government loans. The indices
for those are now at 95 and 425 respectively.
*MBA does not provide
absolute numbers for the sub-indices. Approximations
of their current levels are derived from graphs in its press release.