Monday, August 06, 2012

Fed: Some domestic banks "eased lending standards", seeing "stronger demand"

by Bill McBride on 8/06/2012 02:00:00 PM

From the Federal Reserve: The July 2012 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices

In the July survey, modest fractions of domestic banks, on balance, continued to report having eased their lending standards across most loan types over the past three months.

Relatively large fractions reported stronger demand for many types of loans over that period.
Regarding loans to households, reported changes in standards were mixed across loan categories, while demand increased somewhat. Lending standards over the past three months were little changed, on net, for prime mortgages and tightened somewhat for nontraditional mortgages. However, a relatively large fraction of respondents reported having experienced stronger demand for prime mortgages over the same time period.
A sizable fraction of domestic banks reported that their business had increased due to decreased competition from European banks and that they remain willing to accommodate additional such business. In response to the second set of special questions, about one-third of the respondents that are participating in HARP 2.0 reported that HARP refinance applications accounted for a significant share of total refinance applications over the past three months, and a large majority of respondents indicated that they anticipate that more than 60 percent of received HARP applications will be approved and successfully completed.
CRE Standards Click on graph for larger image.

Here are some charts from the Fed.

This graph shows the change in demand for CRE (commercial real estate) loans.

Increasing demand and some easing in standards suggests some increase in CRE activity.

CRE DemandThe second graph shows the change in demand for mortgages. Note the break in the graph - in recent years, the Fed has asked about demand for different types of mortgages.

It appears demand for mortgages is picking up.

The survey also has some discussion on Europe. Whereas domestic banks are easing standards slightly and seeing an increase in demand, they are tightening standards for lending to European banks:
large fractions of both domestic and foreign banks that extend credit to banks headquartered in Europe or their affiliates or subsidiaries indicated that they had tightened standards on such loans over the past three months.

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