Serious Mortgage Delinquencies Fall to Lowest Since 2008...
from Bloomberg news:
The rate of seriously delinquent U.S. mortgages, a proxy for the so-called shadow inventory of homes, fell to the lowest since 2008 as employment improved and recovering housing demand made it easier for homeowners to sell.
The percentage of home loans that were more than 90 days behind or in the foreclosure process fell to 7.03 percent in the third quarter from 7.31 percent in the previous three months, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report today. The rate was 7.89 percent a year earlier.
Delinquent homeowners are catching up on payments or finding alternatives to foreclosure as the economy improves. That’s helping to reduce shadow inventory -- typically defined as homes with seriously delinquent mortgages, in foreclosure or held by banks and not for sale -- and limiting the prospect that distressed properties will flood the market and depress prices.
“The drop of the shadow inventory is a real positive for the housing market because it reduces concerns that this backlog will be with us,” Michael Fratantoni, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s vice president of research and economics, said in a telephone interview today from Washington.
The serious-delinquency rate was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2008, when it was 6.3 percent. The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the third quarter was 4.07 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from June. That was the biggest drop in records dating to 1979, Fratantoni said.