The latest serious mortgage delinquency data released on Foreclosure-Response.org have a mix of good and bad news for homeowners and communities. The good news is that the overall serious mortgage delinquency rate (loans that are either 90+ days delinquent or in the foreclosure process) is showing signs of stabilizing. The bad news is that the rate is still quite high and the foreclosure rate itself is still on the rise. Taken together, these trends suggest that the foreclosure problem remains severe but the pipeline of troubled loans may be slowly shrinking. The evidence also suggests that loans may be lingering longer in the foreclosure inventory.
For Florida and much of the Southwest, there’s little sunshine in the data. Metropolitan areas in Florida and the southwestern United States continue to experience some of the highest rates of serious delinquency. Many Sun Belt cities had rates well above the average for the 100 largest metro areas. In the map below, at least 3 out of every 20 residential mortgages in the red metros—sometimes as many as 1-in-4—are more than 90 days past due or in foreclosure. This includes most of Florida, southern California, the Las Vegas area, the Memphis area, and parts of New Jersey and Illinois. The blue areas are doing much better, but may still be historically high.
The bad news about high rates of serious delinquency in some areas, particularly in the Rust Belt and Golden State, is tempered with some signs of progress since December 2009. A few Midwestern metro areas, such as Detroit and Youngstown, saw downward year-over-year trends in serious delinquency; others like Chicago, Columbus and Milwaukee had serious delinquency rates that flattened out but did not drop substantially. Serious delinquency rates are declining in many hard-hit California metro areas. Although California is still experiencing above-average rates of serious delinquency, some of the state’s hardest hit metro areas, such as Riverside, Stockton, Bakersfield and Modesto, have experienced some of the largest year-over-year drops in serious delinquency across the nation’s 100 largest metro areas.
How is your area faring? Better or worse than last year? Better or worse than other metropolitan areas nationwide? Check out Foreclosure-Response.org for the national rankings and data for all 366 U.S. metropolitan areas to find out. (Foreclosure-Response.org is a project of the Center for Housing Policy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and the Urban Institute.)