Written by Miami Today on July 19, 2012
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LOAN DEFAULTS TUMBLE: Miami’s loan default rate hit its lowest level in almost six years in June, dropping to 2.44%, data released Tuesday show. It was Miami’s fifth consecutive month the comprehensive measure of consumer credit defaults declined. The Miami rate stood at 2.55% in May and was at 5.41% in June 2011, the highest at that time of five major US metropolitan areas being measured. Miami’s rate still is far above the other four. Dallas is at less than 1%, Los Angeles at 1.6%, New York at 1.64% and Chicago at 1.84%. Nationally, four major loan types posted their lowest default rates in June since the end of the recession three years ago. The default rates are compiled by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian.
EARLY PAYOFF: Car rentals are rising so fast at the Miami Intermodal Center at Miami International Airport that debt for construction of the rental car hub could be paid off 13 years earlier than forecast, Fitch Ratings says. Total rental car days at the new joint hub for 16 rental companies are 24% ahead of the projections upon which financing of the hub was based. The largest of those companies, Alamo, alone handles 27% of the hub’s traffic, Fitch reports. Fitch upgraded its ratings on the $270 million bonds for the rental car center to A- from BBB, citing not just the added rental car use but lower projected operating costs and a surge of passenger traffic at Miami International over the past three years. The $270 million loan, made in 2007, matures in 2044. An earlier estimate projected payoff in 2037, but Fitch now cites 2024 as likely. A daily facility charge of $4.60 per rental car — scheduled to rise to $4.85 in 2015 — funds repayments.
FUNDING ARSHT REPAIRS: The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts can use up to $5 million of Miami-Dade’s annual $7.6 million subsidy to pay for damages to the building during a storm May 20. The county commission approved the measure Tuesday. The $476 million center has already incurred more than $2.5 million in damage costs. With a $5 million deductible, it appears the center will absorb all the costs for the repairs. During the storm, a storm drain pipe on the roof failed and damaged the interior of the building at 1300 Biscayne Blvd. The water damaged interior acoustical ceilings, partition walls, hallways, multiple large restrooms, carpets, surrounding stair finishes, baseboards, electrical equipment, fire alarms and two elevators. The center has retained a forensics engineer who is to determine if other causes such as workmanship and materials may have contributed or led to the damages.