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Feb 19 (Reuters) - (The following statement was released by the rating agency)
Fitch Ratings says the number of new borrowers entering arrears in the Netherlands continues to increase, which in combination with the prolonged time taken to recover on defaulted loans, has led to another increase in the volume of borrowers in late stage delinquencies.
Although still well-below levels seen in many other European countries, the proportion of loans in Fitch-rated Dutch RMBS that was in arrears by more than three months reached 0.82% in January 2014, up 5bp from the previous quarter. The agency expects arrears to increase further and eventually peak in 2014, as the lagged effects of rising unemployment take their toll.
Meanwhile, losses across RMBS portfolios remain limited, with the cumulative balance reaching 13bp of the original portfolio. Most of the losses have been generated from the non-conforming portfolios which have on average incurred 3.4%.
With home prices showing a slight upward movement in recent months, the index currently stands 20% below peak levels. Fitch expects home prices to bottom out in 2014.
Fitch's 'Mortgage Market Index - Netherlands' is part of the agency's quarterly series of index reports. It includes information on the performance of residential mortgages, predominantly from RMBS transactions, but also those held on bank balance sheets. The report sets the housing market against the macroeconomic background and provides commentary on the emerging trends. The report is available at www.fitchratings.com or by clicking on the link above.
Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: Mortgage Market Index - Netherlands (1Q 2014)