Seasonally adjusted, 0.58% of loans entered the foreclosure process last quarter, compared with 0.54% in the fourth quarter of 2006 and 0.41% in last year's first quarter. The rates for the past two quarters are the highest in the survey's 37-year history. The MBA reported that the spike in foreclosures was much steeper in California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada than in other areas. Mr. Duncan said some speculators are walking away from properties in the face of falling prices and higher borrowing costs.
The percentage of loans now in the foreclosure process rose to 1.28%, up from 0.98% a year earlier. That's still well below the 1.51% recorded in the first quarter of 2002, in the wake of a brief recession.
And it looks like we may have a new econ-hack emerging at the NAR:
The trade group's chief economist, Doug Duncan, predicted that delinquencies would likely rise, peaking later in the year. He also said rising foreclosures probably wouldn't peak until next year. "Our view is that we will probably see modest increases in delinquencies and foreclosures for the next couple of quarters," Mr. Duncan said.
Nothing to see here, move along...
The housing market is going to be a mess for a long time. Builders don't see the possibility of a recovery until 2011. We still have at least 2 years of mortgage resets to go through. Something tells me the delinquency rates will be increasing for quite some time.