Mortgage distress shifts to prime borrowers

Housing wire has a very interesting piece out today, suggesting that the mortgage crisis in the U.S. has moved far beyond merely subprime and even Alt-A; Prime borrowers are now where the greatest increase in mortgage stress is being felt. After all, if Ed McMahon can default, the situation is very worrying.

“Among subprime borrowers, severe delinquencies — a measure that includes 90+ day delinquencies and foreclosures — increased from 14.44 percent of loans in the fourth quarter to 16.42 percent in Q1. In contrast, just 1.99 percent of all prime borrowers were severely delinquent at the end of Q1, compared to 1.67 percent at the end of last year, numbers that illustrate the relatively greater distress felt by subprime borrowers.

But it’s the velocity of these changes that’s most worth noting from an investor’s perspective — the Q4 to Q1 change in severe delinquencies strongly favors prime borrowers, for example, with severe DQs increasing by 19.2 percent for prime and 13.7 percent for subprime borrowers.
Housing Wire, 5 June 2008

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