Jumbo loans drive mortgage credit availability in April

by Steve Randall13 May 2019

Mortgage lending standards loosened in April with a 2.1% rise in the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Brokers Association.

Based on data from Ellie Mae's AllRegs® Market Clarity® business information tool, the index reached 186.0 (it was benchmarked at 100.0 in March 2012) and was boosted by a 6.8% rise in the Jumbo MCAI while the Conforming MCAI was up 1.2%. Together these components pushed the Conventional MCAI up 4.3% while the Government MCAI was unchanged.

"Credit supply increased 2 percent in April and was driven by a 7 percent gain in the jumbo index, which reached its highest level since the beginning of the MCAI in 2011," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Additionally, investors continued a trend from March of further increasing their willingness to purchase more non-QM and non-agency jumbo loans. The high-end of the purchase market had shown weakness earlier this year, before the recent decline in mortgage rates, and it appears investors are trying to remain competitive in that segment of the market."

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