During January, the MBA’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) increased 1.1 percent to 177.1 in January. Three of the four component indices saw increases—the Jumbo MCAI (up 4.7 percent), the Conventional MCAI (up 2.3 percent) and the Government MCAI (up 0.2 percent)—with only the Conforming MCAI in decline over the month (down 0.1 percent).
“Mortgage credit availability increased for the fifth consecutive month in January, driven by increased availability of jumbo loan programs,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics. “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 GSEs. 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.”