The U.S. mortgage market appears to be on the mend. Except, that is, for the usual hot spots, where loan delinquencies and foreclosures remain so elevated they render the national statistics "somewhat meaningless."
That's according to the latest survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington, D.C., and commentary by MBA Chief Economist Jay Brinkmann.
The national highlights:
- Of residential mortgage loans, 8.3 percent had at least one late payment, but were not in the foreclosure process as of March 31. That was a slight increase compared with Dec. 31, 2010, but a significant decrease compared with March 31, 2010.
- Of all the loans, 4.5 percent were in the foreclosure process, a slight drop compared with the prior quarter and year.
- Of all the loans, 8.1 percent were in the foreclosure process or at least 90 days past due.
- Foreclosure actions were started on 1 percent of residential loans during the first quarter of 2011.
The state-specific lowlights:
- Of all U.S. mortgages in foreclosure, 24 percent were in Florida.
- Florida represented 23 percent of the loans that had at least one payment past due.
- In Nevada, foreclosure actions were being started at an annualized rate of more than 9 percent.
- In Arizona, the annualized rate of foreclosures being started was more than seven percent.
- Florida, New Jersey and Illinois experienced the biggest increases in the number of loans in foreclosure, while California, Arizona and Michigan experienced the biggest decreases. The difference? The three states where foreclosures climbed have judicial foreclosure processes, which, all else being equal, lengthen the timeline and increase the number of loans in foreclosure.
"We have areas of recovery," Brinkmann said in a statement, "but those numbers are often overwhelmed by the bad numbers still coming out of a few large states.”
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