Monday, February 02, 2009

Fed: Lending Standards Tighten, Loan Demand Weakens in January

by Bill McBride on 2/02/2009 03:26:00 PM

From the Fed: The January 2009 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices

In the January survey, the net fractions of respondents that reported having tightened their lending policies on all major loan categories over the previous three months stayed very elevated. Relative to the October survey, these net fractions generally edged down slightly or remained unchanged. Respondents indicated that demand for loans from both businesses and households continued to weaken, on balance, over the survey period.

In response to the special questions on commercial real estate lending, significant net fractions of both foreign and domestic institutions reported having tightened over the past year all loan policies about which they were queried. At the same time, about 15 percent of domestic banks, on net, indicated that the shutdown of the securitization market for commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) since the middle of 2008 has led to an increase in the extension of new commercial real estate loans at their bank.
CRE Loan Demand vs. Non-residential Investment Structures Click on graph for larger image in new window.

Of particular interest is the increase in tighter lending standards for Commercial Real Estate (CRE) loans. This graph compares investment in non-residential structure with the Fed's loan survey results for lending standards (inverted) and CRE loan demand.

Note that any reading below zero for loan demand means less demand than the previous quarter. This is strong evidence of an imminent slump in CRE investment.

More charts here for residential mortgage, consumer loans and C&I.