Mortgage Credit Availability Grows In January

It got just a little bit easier to lock down a mortgage last month.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s updated Mortgage Credit Availability Index released Tuesday increased by 2.0 percentage points to 124.6, indicating a looser credit market than the month before.

The Conventional MCAI increased 4.8 percent, while the Government MCAI decreased by 0.1 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 2.2 percent, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 7.7 percent.  

“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,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “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.”