Delinquencies will moderately rise in 2020 but remain low: Moody’s Investors Service

Delinquencies will moderately rise in 2020 but remain low: Moody’s Investors Service
Delinquencies will moderately rise in 2020 but remain low: Moody’s Investors Service

In this economic environment, mortgage delinquencies will moderately increase, especially given that high household debt — which amounts to almost 190% of annual gross disposable income — will leave households financially vulnerable to economic and housing market shocks, according to Moody's Investor Service.

Moody's Investor Service foecast is for real GDP growth of 1.8% in 2020, lower than 2.0% in 2019. Unemployment will be relatively steady at 5.2% in 2020, from 5.1% in December 2019.1 

However, it is likely that most mortgage borrowers will be able to continue meeting their repayments at our forecast level of economic growth and unemployment, which means delinquencies will remain low overall.

Furthermore, historically low mortgage interest rates will support borrowers' abilities to repay mortgages.

In January 2020, month-on-month house prices in Sydney and Melbourne increased by 1.1% and 1.2% respectively.

Converting IO mortgages to principal/interest loans will increase delinquencies

The conversion of IO mortgages to principal and interest loans will cause some delinquencies in 2020, though this risk will diminish throughout the year. Banks originated a significant volume of IO loans in the first half of 2015. T

he five-year IO period for these mortgages will end in the first half of 2020. When such loans convert to principal and interest at the end of the IO period, borrowers must make higher monthly repayments, which can lead to delinquencies. 

Such risks will diminish through 2020, given that IO lending declined from the second half 2015.

Recent bushfires will have a negative but limited effect on RMBS performance 

The 2019-2020 bushfires will have a negative but limited effect on RMBS performance.

They have largely affected homes in rural and regional areas across Australia, while most of the loans in RMBS we rate have the backing of underlying properties located in major cities.

In addition, general home insurance, government/lender relief measures, as well as low average loan-to-value (LTV) ratios will mitigate risks for RMBS, by either helping to limit mortgage delinquencies or preventing them escalating to defaults and losses.

Tags: 
Home Loans Mortgage Delinquencies

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