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

Aug.August 22, 2011 03:02 PM

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.”

The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on residential properties in Florida was 8.71 percent at the end of the second quarter of 2011, a decrease of 6 basis points from the first quarter of 2011. The delinquency rate for prime adjustable rate mortgage loans increased 5 basis points to 9.51 percent and the rate for prime fixed rate mortgage loans decreased 5 basis points to 5.5 percent. — Adam Fusfeld and Katherine Clarke

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