Auto, CRE Loan Demand Up Even as Lenders Tighten Credit Standards
Lenders in several major cities across the country have experienced a stronger demand for loans compared to previous months.
Seven districts – New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, St. Louis and San Francisco – reported more demand for commercial and industrial loans as well as auto loans, according to the Federal Reserve District’s Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions, commonly referred to as the Beige Book.
Data was collected between Aug. 30 and Sept. 28.
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Va., San Francisco and St. Louis make up the Fed’s 12 districts.
While some districts reported more loan demand, others cited flat activity including Kansas City and Dallas. Chicago reported somewhat weaker demand, the report noted.
Demand for consumer credit, particularly for auto loans, was said to be strong in the Cleveland, Atlanta, St. Louis, Dallas and San Francisco districts, while consumer loan demand was more limited in New York, Richmond, Chicago and Kansas City.
The Fed said most districts reported an increase in mortgage lending, especially for refinancing purposes.
While demand for loans was strong in more than half of the districts, credit standards were relatively unchanged since the Fed’s last Beige Book report in August.
Loans remained difficult to obtain for many small businesses in the Cleveland, Richmond and Chicago districts, according to the report. New York noted some tightening for consumer loans and residential mortgages.
Richmond and Chicago reported some easing for commercial and industrial loans. Kansas City and Dallas noted general improvements in loan quality while delinquency rates generally held steady or declined in the New York, Cleveland and Dallas districts.
Banking contacts in the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Dallas and San Francisco districts reported stiff competition among lenders.
Meanwhile, vehicle sales were mixed but generally at favorable levels with sales ranging from steady to stronger and running ahead of comparable 2011 levels, the Fed noted.
Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis and San Francisco described sales as strong while New York and Chicago reported some moderation in sales in September after a fairly strong August.
Kansas City and Dallas reported some softening or leveling off in sales. The Cleveland and Kansas City districts noted that crossover SUVs have been selling well relative to less fuel-efficient vehicles.
Sales of used vehicles were mixed, with San Francisco describing them as robust but New York and Cleveland characterizing them as flat, the report read.