Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday echoed the positive outlook emerging among market players that indicate the US economy — and housing market in particular — may have reached bottom. Despite lingering highs in unemployment, “from a technical perspective the recession is very likely over at this point,” Bernanke said at a Brookings Institute speech. He added the US economy will likely feel weak “for some time” as unemployment figures remain high, pressuring US consumers. The financial stress is apparent in delinquency rates among residential mortgages. Serious delinquent rates of loans more than 60 days past due in July continued to rise for ’05, ’06 and ’07 vintages, according to Deutsche Bank‘s (DB) home equity loan monitor. However, net losses improved among both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate loans, according to Deutsche’s monitor, which studies the performance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS). The net loss for ’05 fixed-rate loans ended in July at 7.41%, a 21bp improvement from June, while ’06 loans improved by 55bp to 16.42%. ’07 fixed-rate loans saw its first ever month of improvement, ending July at a 14.91% loss rate, a 40bp improvement. The loss rates among adjustable-rate loans improved 48bp to 15.75% among ’05 loans and 40bp to 19.31% among ’06 loans. The rate remained unchanged at 13.88% among ’07 adjustable-rate loans. Write to Diana Golobay.

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