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Delinquencies Rise, Casting Cloud Over Recovery

Today’s Talking Point 11/23/09

Fear of Double Dip in Housing –
Home Starts Tumble and Mortgage Delinquencies Rise, Casting Cloud Over Recovery

That was the front page headline last Thursday in the Wall Street Journal. The article discussed what we have been addressing for several months now. The article highlighted a growing problem in housing – the number of mortgages which are now delinquent has more than doubled in the last year.

About 3.4% of U.S. households — or about 1.9 million homeowners — are 120 days or more overdue on their payments, but not yet in foreclosure, according to LPS Applied Analytics, a research firm in Denver. That is up from 1.5% a year earlier.

A study by Laurie Goodman of Amherst Securities Group reported that homes which are 90+ days delinquent have a 99.2% chance of going to foreclosure. Whether they come to the market as an REO or a ‘short sale’, they will have a devastating impact on prices.

Here is a chart from Calculated Risk showing the increases in delinquencies (click to enlarge):

When we price our listings today, we must realize that this growing ‘shadow industry’ of homes will be released unto the market over the next few months. Let’s be great counselors to our sellers and make sure they price their homes to sell before this inventory is released.


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