In a recent press release, the MBA announced that its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) showed an increase in mortgage credit accessibility in May. The MCAI rose by 0.5 percent in May to reach 122.6 based on data analysis from Ellie Mae's business information tool AllRegs Market Clarity. With four component indices, all but the Jumbo MCAI rose in May, and the Conforming MCAI and Conventional MCAI yielded the greatest increase in credit availability.
The index increase indicates that credit standards were relaxed in May while an MCAI decline would have denoted more stringent lending standards. According to MBA chief economist Mike Fratantoni, the MCAI increase in May was primarily due to greater accessibility of FHA 203K home improvement loans and cash-out refinance loans.