Mortgages at risk: numbers increasing everywhere, but differences between metropolitan areas are stark

Chris Walker is director of LISC Research and Assessment. He and Mr. Kingsley examine recent data, which indicate rising foreclosure rates.

7 Oct 2010 - Tom Kingsley and Chris Walker, MetroTrends

Chris Walker
Director of Research &
Assessment at LISC


In the 100 largest metropolitan areas nationwide, the average share of all home mortgages that were seriously delinquent stood at 7.7 percent in March 2009, a level that would have been considered inconceivably high just a few years ago. Yet over the subsequent year, that average climbed even higher to reach 10.2 percent in March 2010. The Mortgage Bankers Association defines “seriously delinquent” mortgages to include all those in foreclosure plus others delinquent for 90 days or more.

Focusing solely on the average rate of serious delinquencies, however, is misleading because both the severity and the trajectory of the problem vary so dramatically across metropolitan areas. Austin, TX had the lowest share seriously delinquent in March 2010 (4.4 percent) while, at the other extreme, Miami’s level was six times that high (a truly unprecedented 26.0 percent). And over the preceding year, Austin’s share increased by just 1.3 percentage points while Miami’s shot up by 6.6 points.

When the foreclosure crisis began, metros in California were hardest hit, with Florida, Arizona, and Nevada close behind. Now, however, five of the six metros with the highest delinquency rates are in Florida (Miami, Orlando, Lakeland, Tampa and Bradenton). These five metros had an average of 21.2 percent seriously delinquent in March 2010, up by 5.0 points over the previous year. The top five California metros (Riverside, Stockton, Modesto, Bakersfield, and Fresno) are also suffering (with an average delinquency rate of 16.6 percent) but their rate of increase has slowed considerably, up only 2.3 points over the year. Continued[+]...

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Article Type: News