Fitch Ratings has released a new installment of its GSE Credit Risk Transfer (CRT) Loss Projections Report, which is published every six months, in January and June. The report “details Fitch Ratings’ projections for future credit events and losses on mortgage loan pools referenced by GSE credit risk transfer transactions.” The report spotlights several important takeaways, including loss projections trending downward and the impact of last year’s hurricanes.
Fitch reports that their reference pool loss projections have lowered on every transaction compared to their previous review in June 2017. Fitch’s report reads, “At the ‘BBBsf’ rating stress level, projected losses were revised downward by an average of 23 basis points (bps) as a percentage of the remaining pool balance, reflecting strong collateral performance, increased home price appreciation and a shorter term to maturity.”
Fitch’s Projections Report shows continuing strong performance for transactions with “at least 12 months’ seasoning,” with the average 60+ day delinquency percentage for 60 percent to 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) reference pools standing at 20 bps. The highest percentage reported is 43 bps. The average increases to 38 bps for 81 percent to 97 percent LTV reference pools, with the largest percentage for this group at 67 bps.
With home prices rising nationwide, it’s no surprise that Fitch found home prices in the pools examined to have increased by an average of 20 percent. Fitch’s report adds that “Consequently, the lower mark-to-market LTV ratios of the reference pools have driven current loss expectations lower relative to deal closing.”
Fitch found that strong home price appreciation had driven voluntary mortgage insurance cancellations higher than expected. “For borrowers who are eligible to cancel but have not yet done so,” the report reads, “Fitch increased the haircut to the MI benefit to reflect the possibility that they could cancel sooner than the model currently expects.”
Fitch reports that the delinquency percentage for loans in areas affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma increased from 1.0 percent to 5.6 percent between October and December 2017. However, delinquency for the entire mortgage pool increased only 16 bps, on average. According to the report, “Fitch expects loan losses from the 2017 hurricanes to be immaterial to the credit risk of the rated classes.”
You can read the full Fitch GSE CRT Loss Projections report, in PDF form, by clicking here.