Credit Slips’ Adam Levitin takes a look into the possibly even grimmer future of the housing market. We’ll let him explain it because he’s smart:
…this graph from Credit Suisse is the most sobering thing I’ve seen in a while. Mortgage_rate_resets It shows that most of the interest rate resets ahead aren’t subprime, but are instead Alt-A and option-ARMs…
Alt-A is the category of loans made to consumers with FICO scores just above the subprime threshold. Option ARMs give borrowers several payment options, including making a minimum payment that does not even cover the interest that accrued in the last month. This means it’s pretty easy for an option ARM to end up underwater, even in a market where prices are holding steady. If real estate prices are dropping, it is even more likely that an option ARM will end up upside down, which makes refinancing near impossible. The bulk of the Alt-A and option-ARM resets are coming in 2010-2011. A lot of things could change before then. But we might just be seeing the tip of the iceberg in the housing market.
Do you think all those people will be able to afford their resets?
Is This Just a “Sub-Prime” Mortgage Crisis? [Credit Slips]