The firm’s report on data for loans supporting mortgage-backed securities rated by the agency shows that delinquencies, defined as arrears of more than 30 days, climbed to 21.7 per cent in the first three months, up from 19.4 per cent in the final quarter of 2007.
Borrowers with 90-plus-day delinquencies increased to 10.6 per cent from 8.8 per cent in the previous quarter.
S&P says: “A reduction in refinancing opportunities for borrowers, the large proportion of loans (approximately 25 per cent) due to revert from fixed or discount rates in the first half of 2008 into an environment of reduced credit availability, and the slowing economy, are likely to keep delinquency figures high for the foreseeable future.”
It data also shows delinquencies have risen “sharply” for UK prime borrowers from 2.11 per cent to 2.41 per cent, while 90-plus-day delinquencies rose to 0.79 per cent from 0.62 per cent.
The firm said that 2007 witnessed a drop and levelling off for both of these statistics but this quarter points to a return to similar levels as those seen in 2006.