US subprime mortgage bonds back in fashion

US subprime mortgage bonds back in fashion

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Issuance of securities backed by riskier US mortgages roughly doubled in the first quarter from a year earlier, as investors lapped up assets blamed for bringing the global financial system to the brink of collapse a decade ago.

Home loans to people with scratches and dents in their credit histories dwindled to almost nothing in the aftermath of the crisis, as litigation-weary lenders retreated to patch up their balance sheets. But over the past couple of years a group of specialist firms has begun to bring the loans back, navigating a dense web of new rules drawn up to protect borrowers and investors in the $9.3tn US home-loan market.

Last year saw issuance of $4.1bn of securities backed by loans that would have been called “subprime” before the last financial crisis, according to figures from Inside Mortgage Finance, with the pace picking up in the latter half of the year. The momentum has continued into 2018, with deals worth $1.3bn in the first quarter — twice the $666m issued in the same period a year earlier.

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