Sydney, Australia (CU)_ S&P Global Ratings (S&P) has altered the insurance industry and country risk assessment (IICRA) of the Australian mortgage insurance sector from moderate to low and from negative to stable. According to the most recent IICRA report, the risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced slowdown have reduced for Australian mortgage insurers, with ultra-low interest rates and government efforts driving a high level of mortgage market activity during 2020 and 2021.
According to the report, a considerable rise in the number of new home loans, as well as low levels of claims and certain reserve releases, also led to a solid underwriting performance throughout the industry. S&P said, “Australia proved to be very resilient to COVID-19 effects, and the economy bounced back strongly after a brief downturn”. S&P hopes that the profitability of the mortgage insurance market will be secure over the medium term due to low unemployment and robust home price rise over the previous two years.
According to the report, “While macroeconomic and geopolitical risks continue to weigh on the global economy, we expect Australia’s economy to support mortgage insurers’ near-term profitability. Our view of Australia’s country risk remains unchanged at very low, and we now assess the sector’s industry risk as moderately low, from moderately high.” The assessment of Australian mortgage insurers follows S&P’s evaluation of the Australian property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry.