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Mortgage credit availability decreased in May according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) which analyzes data from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs® Market Clarity® business information tool.

The MCAI decreased 0.8 percent to 121.4 in May.  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 tightening (down 1.3 percent) over the month followed by the Government MCAI (down 1.0 percent), the Conventional MCAI (down 0.8 percent), and the Conforming MCAI (down 0.3 percent).

“Credit availability decreased for the third consecutive month in May,” says Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “Gains in credit availability caused by the continued roll-out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac low down payment programs were offset by modest tightening among government loan programs that serve borrowers in high cost areas.”

MBA now reports on five total measures of credit availability as part of the monthly MCAI release: the Total Mortgage Credit Availability Index, the Conventional Mortgage Credit Availability Index, the Government Mortgage Credit Availability Index, the Conforming Mortgage Credit Availability Index, and the Jumbo Mortgage Credit Availability Index, with historical data back to 2011.

Of the four component indices, the Jumbo MCAI saw the greatest tightening (down 1.3 percent) over the month followed by the Government MCAI (down 1.0 percent), the Conventional MCAI (down 0.8 percent), and the Conforming MCAI (down 0.3 percent).

For more information, visit www.mba.org.

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