U.S. foreclosures fall, but job market pushes delinquencies up

N.Y. sees rise in delinquency rate, ranks 25th among all states
August 22, 2011 12:26PM

While foreclosures fell nationally in the second quarter of 2011, delinquencies are on the rise thanks to a meager labor market, according to the Mortgage Delinquency Survey released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Foreclosure start rates fell to their lowest levels since the fourth quarter of 2007 at 0.96 percent, according to the survey, and the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process dropped to 4.43 percent in the second quarter from 4.52 percent in the first quarter and 4.57 percent in the prior-year quarter. But the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one- to four-unit residential properties increased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 8.44 percent from 8.32 percent in the first quarter. It’s still far below the 9.85 percent experienced in the second quarter of 2010.

The labor market had a clear impact on the numbers, according to Jay Brinkmann, chief economist at MBA, as the percentage of home loans overdue by 30 days rose to 3.46 percent, according to the report, from 3.35 percent in the first quarter. Those figures “are very much driven by changes in the labor market,” he said, “and the increase in these delinquencies clearly reflects the deterioration we saw in the labor market during the second quarter.”

In New York, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on residential properties was 7.86 percent in the second quarter, up from 7.75 percent last quarter. But the rates aren’t seasonally adjusted, and so an increase is typical between the first and second quarters due to seasonal factors. For comparison, the non-seasonally adjusted rate across the country was 8.11 percent. New York ranked 25th among all states in both delinquencies and foreclosures started. — Adam Fusfeld