Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Foreclosures still going strong

I'm working from home today so I don't have access to all my data and charts. But let me try to cover the latest RealtyTrac foreclosure figures anyway ...

* Filings came in at 223,538 in September. That's essentially double the 112,210 filings a year ago. However, filings were down 8.4% from August's 243,947.

* Leading the way among the states were California, with just over 51,000 filings, and Florida, with more than 33,000.

* Measured against total households in each state, Nevada ranked the worst, with 1 foreclosure for every 185 households. Florida was next at 1 for every 248 households, with California close behind at 1 per 253.

The story is the same this month as the past several months: With tens of billions of dollars in adjustable rate loans re-setting each month, home prices falling, and home sales taking much longer than they did in the past, borrowers are behind the eight ball. We're seeing more borrowers fall into delinquency. And of those troubled borrowers, more are tumbling into foreclosure because they can't sell their homes to pay off their debts. The minor blip from August is encouraging, but may ultimately prove to be just a fleeting respite.

By the way, if you're looking for a fantastic analysis of just how much subprime lending was done -- and where -- in the past few years, check out this Wall Street Journal story. The gist is that subprime loans were doled out all over the country, with large increases even in wealthier areas (as opposed to just inner cities and other areas traditionally assumed to be the ... er ... "beneficiaries" of increased subprime mortgage availability).


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