Mortgage arrears move higher for seventh consecutive month

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The number of home loans in arrears rose for the seventh consecutive month in May, according to new arrears data.

Standard & Poor’s Performance Index, commonly referred to as SPIN, shows that 1.21% of “prime” residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) were in arrears in May, up from 1.14% the previous month and 1.07% a year earlier. The index measures the weighted-average arrears more than 30 days past due on loans in RMBS transactions.

It also showed that arrears were higher amongst the banks, with non-banks being the only sector to see a decline in RMBS arrears.

Most of the increase in arrears in May was in the “more severe” category of 90-plus days overdue. The major banks’ 90 day-plus arrears rose four basis points to 0.48%, while non-banks fell a point to 0.17%. 

The SPIN of non-conforming loans in arrears also increased to 4.71% during the month, from 4.25% in April. 

However, S&P noted that the non-conforming measure tends to exhibit some volatility from month to month and remains low by historical standards and well below the peak of 17% in 2009.

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