After rising in August, the rate of first and second lien mortgage defaults fell in September, according to the latest S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices.
The first mortgage and second mortgage default rates both reported decreases in September at 0.76% and at 0.47%, down eight and 10 basis points from the previous month, respectively.
Overall, the composite rate of defaults, which includes first mortgages, second mortgages, bank cards and auto loans, was 0.89% in September, down seven basis points from the previous month.
The bank card default rate was 2.77% for September, up six basis points from August. The auto loan default rate was up two basis points to 0.92%.
“Default rates on consumer credit and mortgage borrowing are fairly stable and close to the lowest levels seen in the last 10 years,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Debt services ratios – the proportion of income going to paying down consumer credit and mortgage debt – are close to the lowest on record since the Fed began collecting the data in 1980.”
Blitzer noted that consumer credit and mortgage debt outstanding are rising, with consumer credit in August rising to an annual rate of 5.2%, while mortgages as of the second quarter were up 2.1% over the last four quarters.
“While continued low interest rates are certainly a positive factor, the possible rate increase by the Federal Reserve is not likely to alter the picture significantly.” Blitzer said.
The S&P/ExperianConsumer Credit Default Indices also breaks down the default rates for five major cities: New York, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Miami.
According to the S&P/Experian report, four of the five cities saw their default rates decrease in the month of September.
Dallas was the only city unchanged from last month at 0.71%.
Miami had the largest decrease, reporting 1.07%, down 39 basis points from August. New York saw its default rate decrease by 14 basis points to 0.90% in September, and Chicago reported a decrease at 1.09%, down 12 basis points from the previous month.
Los Angeles reported a default rate of 0.74%, down two basis points for the month.