According to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs® Market Clarity® business information tool, mortgage credit availability increased in January. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) rose by 2% to a reading of 124.6 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. In remarks prepared for the release of the MCAI, Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting said, “The growth in credit availability in January coincides with a housing market that is poised for a strong start to the year. Improvements were driven by the conventional segment of the mortgage market, as lenders added ARM loans with lower credit score and higher LTV requirements. Despite ARM loans accounting for a very small share of loan applications in recent months, lenders are likely looking ahead to a strong home buying season by expanding their product offerings.”
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Mortgage Credit Availability Increased in January