Access to mortgage credit increased again in January. The
Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Mortgage Credit Availability Index
(MCAI) rose 2.0 percent to 124.6. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending
standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of
loosening credit. The two components of the Conventional MCAI posted
significant increases. The Conforming MCAI jumped 7.7 percent and the Jumbo
component was up 2.2 percent, pushing the parent index up 4.8 percent compared
to December. This was slightly offset by an 0.1 percent decline in the
Government MCAI.  

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