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Tag Archives: Fitch Ratings

Several Markets Experiencing Strong Price Growth, High Unemployment

For several markets across the country, strong home price growth is also attached to a double-digit unemployment rate, leading Fitch Ratings to view the strong price appreciation as unsustainable. In a recent report, Fitch highlighted seven metro areas where high unemployment rates were in the backdrop of annual double-digit home price gains. The top two were Detroit and Las Vegas, while the remaining five were in California: Sacramento, Stockton, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and Riverside.

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Fitch: Sale of REO Assets Lowers CMBS Delinquency Rate in June

In June, an increase in the sale of REO properties drove down the CMBS delinquency rate, bringing it to a three-year low, Fitch Ratings reported. At 7.18 percent, the CMBS delinquency rate fell 19 basis points (bps) from the month before in May and is at its lowest level since March 2010. ""The CMBS delinquency rate is likely to improve further in the coming months as other large REO properties are sold, including a slew from ORIX's portfolio,"" said Scott Pritchard, director at Fitch.

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Fitch Notes Inconsistencies in Principal Forbearance Reporting

Fitch Ratings has observed inconsistencies in the way servicers report losses in cases of principal forbearance. According to the agency, before 2010, pooling and servicing agreements did not require servicers to report forborne principal as losses. Nationstar Mortgage announced it is revising losses on loans with principal forbearances acquired in 2012 from Aurora Bank FSB and Aurora Loan Services.

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Fitch Examines Credit Risk for GSEs in Light of Risk Sharing Efforts

In recent months, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac took important steps toward transparency with the release of historical credit performance data. The move also paved the way for credit risk sharing transactions as the FHFA looks to reduce the GSEs' role in housing finance. In an effort to help investors ""evaluate upcoming credit-sensitive securitization proposals from the GSEs,"" Fitch Ratings completed an analysis of the historical data in a recent report. Overall, the report determined loans originated from 2009 and beyond should outperform earlier vintages.

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Labor Shortage in Homebuilding Could Dampen Recovery

Fitch has added its voice to the chorus of those concerned about homebuilding industry's labor shortage and the effects it may have on new housing growth. The ratings agency noted that while a deficit in workers may not lead to ""disastrous national numbers for housing,"" it--combined with a lack of available lots and overly tight mortgage qualification standards--may put a damper on the recovery.

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Fitch Doles Out Upgrades But Insists RMBS Still Vulnerable

While perhaps not completely out of the woods yet, residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) are on the mend with some improved performance of late, according to Fitch Ratings. An ""improving U.S. housing market and stable macro environment"" are boosting performance, leading Fitch to upgrade about 480 RMBS bonds so far this year and harbor a ""Positive Outlook"" on about 800 RMBS bonds. Looking ahead, the agency does not anticipate widespread upgrades in the year to come.

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Fitch: Price Gains May Be Too Rapid in Certain Markets

In some markets, the recent home price gains may actually be too rapid, leading to concerns of a market imbalance that could eventually stall or reverse the positive trend, according to an analysis from Fitch Ratings. While the unemployment rate is trending down and low mortgage rates are helping with affordability, certain areas are seeing prices accelerate far beyond job growth and incomes. This particular problem has been especially notable in markets that have not fully recovered from the previous bubble, which includes several cities in California, the agency found.

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Report: Short Sales Replacing Mods as New Norm

Among the available foreclosure prevention tools, short sales are becoming the weapon of choice for servicers while the use of loan modifications has slowed, data from Fitch Ratings revealed. For example, among bank servicers, the percentage of resolutions in the loan modification category decreased to 26 percent in the last half of 2012 from 57 percent in the first half of 2010, according to Fitch's latest quarterly index. Meanwhile, short sales showed significant increases over the last couple of years. In 2012, short sales represented 51 percent of resolutions for bank servicers, up from a low of 20 percent in 2010.

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Cumulative CMBS Default Rate Rises in Q1: Fitch

Fitch Ratings found cumulative U.S. CMBS defaults moved higher in the first quarter as the office sector struggled. The U.S. CMBS cumulative default rate for fixed-rate CMBS rose to 13.6 percent in Q1 2013, up 18 basis points from the previous quarter, according to the rating agency.

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Fitch: Recent Price Gains May Not Be Here to Stay

While some might be rejoicing at the recent rising home prices and rising home sales seen across the nation, Fitch Ratings ""still views these gains cautiously."" In fact, the agency predicts price gains will slow and perhaps even reverse over the next year. Fitch expects a price ""trough in the middle of 2014"" but suggests inflation will keep prices from falling more than 3.5 percent.

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