Tuesday, February 11, 2020

NY Fed Q4 Report: "Household Debt Tops $14 Trillion as Mortgage Originations Reach Highest Volume since 2005"

by Calculated Risk on 2/11/2020 11:14:00 AM

From the NY Fed: Household Debt Tops $14 Trillion as Mortgage Originations Reach Highest Volume since 2005

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which shows that total household debt increased by $193 billion (1.4%) to $14.15 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2019. This marks the 22nd consecutive quarter with an increase, and the total is now $1.5 trillion higher, in nominal terms, than the previous peak of $12.68 trillion in the third quarter of 2008. The Report is based on data from the New York Fed’s Consumer Credit Panel, a nationally representative sample of individual- and household-level debt and credit records drawn from anonymized Equifax credit data.
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Transitions into delinquency among credit card borrowers deteriorated in the fourth quarter compared to Q3 2019.

“Mortgage originations, including refinances, increased significantly in the final quarter of 2019, with auto loan originations also remaining at the brisk pace seen throughout the year,” said Wilbert Van Der Klaauw, senior vice president at the New York Fed. “The data also show that transitions into delinquency among credit card borrowers have steadily risen since 2016, notably among younger borrowers.”
emphasis added
Total Household Debt Click on graph for larger image.

Here are two graphs from the report:

The first graph shows aggregate consumer debt increased in Q4.  Household debt previously peaked in 2008, and bottomed in Q2 2013.

From the NY Fed:
Mortgage balances shown on consumer credit reports on December 31 stood at $9.56 trillion, a $120 billion increase from 2019Q3. Balances on home equity lines of credit (HELOC) saw a $6 billion decline, bringing the outstanding balance to $390 billion and continuing the 10 year downward trend. Non-housing balances increased by $79 billion in the fourth quarter, with increases across the board, including $16 billion in auto loans, $46 billion in credit card balances, and $10 billion in student loans. Note that the large increase in credit card balances reflects, in part, a shifting of balances across debt types as portfolios have shifted by among lender.

New extensions of credit were strong in the fourth quarter. Auto loan originations, which include both newly opened loans and leases, at $159 billion, were about flat with the previous quarter’s high level. Mortgage originations, which we measure as appearances of new mortgage balances on consumer credit reports and which include refinances, were at $752 billion, a large increase from the $528 billion in the third quarter and the highest volume in originations since the end of 2005. Aggregate credit limits on credit cards also increased, by $96 billion, continuing a 10-year upward trend.
Delinquency Status The second graph shows the percent of debt in delinquency.

The overall delinquency rate was mostly unchanged in Q4.  From the NY Fed:
Aggregate delinquency rates were mostly unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2019. As of December 31, 4.7% of outstanding debt was in some stage of delinquency, a 0.1 percentage point decrease from the third quarter due to a decrease in the 30 to 59 days late bucket. Of the $669 billion of debt that is delinquent, $444 billion is seriously delinquent (at least 90 days late or “severely derogatory”, which includes some debts that have been removed from lenders books but upon which they continue to attempt collection).
There is much more in the report.