According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Mortgage Credit Availability Index ('MCAI'), U.S. mortgage credit availability increased in December 2016.
The MCAI increased 0.6 percent to 175.2 in December. 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 1.3 percent), followed by the Conventional MCAI (up 0.7 percent), the Government MCAI (up 0.6 percent), and the Conforming MCAI (up 0.04 percent).
"Credit availability was up for the fourth consecutive month in December driven by jumbo loan programs as well as loan programs for borrowers with lower credit scores and low down payments," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics.
According to global commercial real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield's latest U.S. Macro Forecast; following a turbulent year in 2016, the U.S. economy and commercial property markets are positioned to perform well in 2017.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 9, 2016, mortgage applications in the U.S. decreased 4.0 percent from one week earlier.