Mortgage default rates remained largely unchanged in February amidst mixed results nationwide, according to data released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian.
The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices found that the first mortgage default rate decreased by two basis points in February to 1.00% while the second mortgage default rate increased two basis points to 0.66% during the same period. For the first mortgage default rate, this was the first decrease seen since July 2014.
Overall, the results seen across mortgage default rates, the largest component of the national index, helped keep the national composite index remain unchanged month-to-month at 1.12% in February. During the same period in 2014, the rate was 18 basis points higher at 1.30%.
Default rates in other sectors of consumer credit rose in February. Bank card default rates surged 23 basis points higher to 2.84% in February while auto loan default rates rose slightly by three basis points to 1.06%. These figures were higher than those last February, 2.83% and 1.03% respectively.
The increases in default rates for bank cards and auto loans reflect consumers' optimism amidst continued low oil prices and strong employment gains in February, according to David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
"A true test of consumer credit quality and the prospects for future default rates will come in the second half of 2015 by which time the Fed will most likely have begun to raise interest rates," Blitzer said in a press release. "Given current low levels of default rates and low debt service burdens, there are no concerns of a consumer credit crisis any time soon."
In addition to the national data gathered, S&P/Experian found that default rates rose in three of the five cities the indices monitor. Dallas saw the sharpest increase, by seven basis points to 1.17%. New York rose four basis points to 1.14% and Chicago by three basis points to 1.18%.
Los Angeles and Miami experienced drops in their default rates to 0.83% and 1.17% respectively.