How bad is the housing situation?
Really bad, at least if you believe new data out of the Mortgage Banker's Association. One in every 10 mortgage holders is now officially "delinquent" -- that is to say, late on at least one payment. That's an all-time high. And that's not the only record we're setting: About one in 20 loans is now in foreclosure, which also qualifies as a first. All in all, about 15 percent of mortgage-holders are now delinquent or in foreclosure.
Also worrying is where the problems are cropping up. The problem, at least until recently, was largely concentrated in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and California . But now we're seeing other states move into the lead: "Washington, Maryland, Oregon, and Georgia showed the greatest overall increases in foreclosures started compared to last quarter,” reports the MBA.
It's a reminder, if nothing else, that the trigger for the financial crisis was the realization that homeowners were going to begin defaulting in record numbers and the assets based on their future payments were not safe. It was not the realization that that had already happened. Instead, it's happening now. So though the financial crisis seems to have largely played itself out, the housing crisis isn't anywhere near its end.
Photo credit: David Zalubowski/AP.
May 19, 2010; 1:36 PM ET
Categories: Housing Crisis
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