Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Serious Delinquencies Decline, Foreclosure Rates Steady

Serious delinquencies are on the decline, while foreclosures have steadied at 5.5 percent, according to recent data from, a joint venture of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Urban Institute, and the Center for Housing Policy.

Among the 100 largest metropolitan areas, serious delinquencies – those 90 days or more past due or in foreclosure – declined from 10.4 percent to 9.3 percent from its December 2009 peak to June 2011.
The decline in serious delinquencies can be attributed to a decline in delinquent loans, according to, which states delinquencies fell from 5.5 percent at the end of 2009 to 3.7 percent in mid-2011.
Areas experiencing higher rates of serious delinquencies include Florida, California and some areas of New Jersey, the Great Lakes region, and the South.
Areas with lower rates of serious delinquencies include Texas, the Central and Mountain Time zone regions, and some areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Seventeen of the top 25 metros ranked for serious delinquencies and four of the top five are located in Florida.
While serious delinquencies decline, foreclosures have “flat-lined,” according to The foreclosure rate has stayed at about 5.5 percent over the three quarters ending in June.
The two metros experiencing the greatest decline in foreclosures are in California – Riverside (1.9 percent) and Stockton (1.7 percent).
In contrast, metros in Florida, New York, and Illinois are seeing rising foreclosure rates. Tampa saw a 2.8 percent increase from December 2009 to June 2011, while Chicago saw a 2.3 percent increase, and New York saw a 2.1 percent increase. notes that these three states are judicial states, which “can create a significant backlog of foreclosures.”
“The foreclosure inventory that is building up is going to take an incredibly long time for lenders to clear,” said Urban Institute research associate Leah Hendey. “At the current pace of foreclosure sales, we are looking at a process that could take decades to complete.”
“It is critical that the status of these properties be resolved quickly if we want to stabilize communities and housing markets,” Hendey continued.

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