The Mortgage Corner

The good news is that foreclosure rates continue to fall, though delinquencies more than 90 days late are fluctuating with the season, according to Lender Processing Services (LPS) in their Mortgage Monitor report for September. According to LPS, 6.46 percent of mortgages were delinquent in September, up from 6.20 percent in August. But LPS reported that 2.63 percent of mortgages were in the foreclosure process, down from 3.86 percent in September 2012, in this graph that begins in June 1995.

This is great news, and due mainly to the increase in housing values that has allowed many homeowners to either refinance or sell their homes.

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Graph: Calculated Risk

This gives a total of 9.03 percent delinquent or in foreclosure. It breaks down as, according to Calculated Risk:
• 1,935,000 properties that are 30 or more days, and less than 90 days past due, but not in foreclosure.
• 1,331,000 properties that are 90 or more days delinquent, but not in foreclosure.
• 1,328,000 loans in foreclosure process.

Meanwhile, CoreLogic reports that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 12 percent on a year-over-year basis in September 2013 year over year. This change represents the 19th consecutive monthly year-over-year increase in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, including distressed sales, home prices increased by 0.2 percent in September 2013 compared to August 2013.

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Graph: Calculated Risk

Excluding distressed sales, home prices increased on a year-over-year basis by 10.8 percent in September 2013 compared to September 2012. On a month-over-month basis, excluding distressed sales, home prices increased 0.3 percent in September 2013 compared to August 2013. Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

The bottom line is that housing values should continue to increase, in spite of the shutdown, because overall business activity continues to improve in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing (service industries) sectors. The October Purchasing Managers’ Non-Manufacturing Business Activity Index increased to 59.7 percent, which is 4.6 percentage points higher than the 55.1 percent reported in September, reflecting growth for the 51st consecutive month. Though the New Orders Index decreased by 2.8 percentage points to 56.8 percent (maybe because of the government shutdown), the Employment Index increased 3.5 percentage points to 56.2 percent, indicating growth in employment for the 15th consecutive month.

Harlan Green © 2013

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