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Mortgage Credit Availability Upticks in January, Says MBA

Mortgage Credit Availability Upticks in January, Says MBA


According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, U.S. mortgage credit availability increased in January 2019, based on their latest Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).

The MCAI rose 2.3 percent to 179.0 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. The Conventional MCAI increased (4.9 percent), while the Government MCAI was unchanged. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Conforming MCAI increased by 7.3 percent, and the Jumbo MCAI increased by 3.0 percent. 

"There was an increase in the supply of mortgage credit in January, which was a reversal from the December pullback that was caused by the end of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and a reduction in jumbo offerings," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Last month, investors and lenders added more programs to cater to lower credit score borrowers, in addition to new relief refinance programs. These relief refinance programs are not a direct replacement for HARP, but do serve a similar purpose to assist borrowers who may have run into financial challenges."  

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