The Foreclosure-Response.org team—the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Urban Institute and the Center for Housing Policy—has released the newest data on and analysis of seriously delinquent mortgages for all 366 U.S. metro areas from September 2012, finding that the foreclosure rate for the 100 largest U.S. metro areas stands at six percent, barely budging from the last two quarters’ all-time high of 6.1 percent. The foreclosure rate has been steadily growing since we began tracking it in March 2009. However, the rate of mortgages delinquent by 90 or more days—mortgages on a clear path toward foreclosure—fell to 3.5 percent, down from a high of 5.5 percent in December 2009.
Fewer distressed mortgages means we can expect fewer foreclosure starts in future. Still, until the number of foreclosure exits catches up to the number of starts, the foreclosure rate will continue its upward trend.
Here are some of the key findings from the data:
►The foreclosure inventory is growing: The data indicate that foreclosure starts have outpaced completions since March 2009, when Foreclosure-Response.org began tracking foreclosures. Unemployment and delinquency are a circular problem. Unemployment impacts housing markets when borrowers struggle to make mortgage payments. Distressed housing markets make it more difficult for homeowners to sell their homes to access job opportunities in other areas.
►Coastal metros are suffering more than the heartland: Metro areas in coastal states like California and Florida tend to have higher rates of unemployment and serious delinquency than areas in the Central U.S. like Texas and the central plains states.
Foreclosure-Response.org’s quarterly report of seriously delinquent mortgage rates—defined as the percentage of home loans currently in the foreclosure process plus the percentage of loans more than 90 days delinquent—provides a strong indicator of the number of foreclosures likely to enter the market in the coming months. Data are available at the metro area level and compared to earlier data for change over time. The analysis reports on metro areas hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis and trends found in the new data.
Foreclosure-Response.org is a joint project of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Urban Institute and the Center for Housing Policy. The site provides data on foreclosures at both the metro area and local levels, as well as information on promising state and local policies for preventing foreclosures and stabilizing communities impacted by foreclosures. Foreclosure-Response.org is funded through grants from the Ford Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Fannie Mae.