Friday, March 28, 2008
more on rate resets
yves smith with more today following some very optimistic comments by bloomberg's dave barry.
The American CoreLogic databases as of March 2007 contained 38 million mortgages. Their extraordinarily detailed analysis of 8.4 million ARMS originated between 2004 and 2006 showed only 9.1 % with initial interest rates of 8.5% or higher (note that the paper claims an average of 8.64%)
There were more mortgages at 2% and below (1,1 million) than above 8.5% (770 thousand). Without throwing in the intermediate levels, it's obvious that the weighted average is well below 8.64% (the level in the New Century pool, which gave Berry the notion that there wouldn't be much reset shock). Similarly, a March 2007 (admittedly now dated) paper by Chris Cagan deemed ARMs with initial rates of 6.5% or higher as not-very-vulnerable to reset shock.
ARMs with low introductory rates were never intended to reset; the assumption was that the would refinance. And recent pools are running at unheard-of rates before reset, with monthly default rates of 3.5%, which equates to a 34.8% cumulative default rate over three years. Thus the performance of later subprimes is horrendous independent of the issue of resets.
Finally, while Libor was a popular index for setting the reset rate, it's far from the only benchmark. Others include the 11th District Cost of Funds rate, the Prime rate, the Monthly Treasury Average rate, the Constant Maturity Treasury rate. And some of these have not been affected by the Fed's cuts[.]
Note that while prime has fallen, its level is not much below what it was in 2005 and 2006, which were the heaviest years for origination of dubious subprimes (while the 2007 vintage is worse in terms of quality, the volume issues was lower than in the two preceding years)[.]
smith here does not even have to mention the fact of negative amortization to significantly wane barry's hopes. i'm afraid this remains as big a problem as ever, though somewhat diminished by reduced LIBOR and prime rates.