Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fed: Delinquency Rates Rose Sharply in Q1

by Bill McBride on 5/21/2008 06:41:00 PM

Added: quote from Goldman Sachs at bottom.

The Federal Reserve reports that delinquency rates rose sharply in Q1 in all categories - except agricultural loans (higher food prices helps).

Commercial Bank Delinquency Rates Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the delinquency rates at the commercial banks for three key categories: residential real estate, commercial real estate, and consumer credit cards.

Credit card delinquency rates are at 4.86%, about the same level as the peak of '01 recession. Credit card delinquencies peaked at 5.45% in the '91 recession.

Commercial real estate delinquencies are rising rapidly, and are at the highest rate since '95 (as delinquency rates declined following the S&L crisis). From the Fed: "Commercial real estate loans include construction and land development loans, loans secured by multifamily residences, and loans secured by nonfarm, nonresidential real estate."

Residential real estate delinquencies are at the highest level since the Fed started tracking the data (since Q1 '91).

Update: From Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius: Mortgage Credit Deterioration: Broadening and Picking Up Speed (excerpted with premission):

"The Fed’s first-quarter report on loan performance at commercial banks shows mortgage credit quality deteriorating at an accelerating pace. ...

The rapid pace of deterioration is particularly significant because the mortgage holdings of commercial banks appear to be tilted toward higher-quality loans, with more prime and less subprime. ...

The Fed data suggest that mortgage credit performance outside the subprime sector is deteriorating rapidly. This reinforces our long-standing view that the surge in mortgage defaults is much broader than simply a reflection of poor underwriting standards in specific subprime vintages. We don’t doubt that lax underwriting standards were an important issue. But the main driver of the defaults is the decline in home prices, the increase in negative equity positions, and the resulting inability of borrowers who encounter financial stress to sell or refinance their way out of trouble. Although subprime borrowers are more likely to encounter financial stress than prime borrowers—and the share of negative-equity borrowers who will end up defaulting is therefore much higher in the subprime sector—the qualitative outlook for the trajectory of credit losses in the much larger prime market is not all that different."