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Best, Worst Mortgage Markets

CA markets face highest delinquency risk, Texas lowest

May 14, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

While lenders face the highest risk of delinquency from mortgages on properties in California markets, the risk was lowest on loans in Texas markets.

The second quarter Core Mortgage Risk Index from First American CoreLogic jumped 16 percent from the second quarter 2007. The index has been up each of the last four reporting periods.

CoreLogic noted that the index, which measures the risk of residential loan delinquencies, "is likely to follow historical trends and continue rising nationally over the next 18 months." The index factors in home price trends, the likelihood of fraud and the risk of foreclosures.

The latest report said the worsening index was the result of slower job growth, rising foreclosures and worsening home prices -- which began to rapidly deteriorate during the first quarter. Home-price declines were cited in 176 of 380 markets tracked by CoreLogic, compared to 143 markets with declining values during the prior quarter.

Among the most risky California markets were Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale; Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville; and Stockton. Those were also the top four risky markets nationwide.

The Sacramento market jumped from No. 10 in the prior quarter to No. 4, while the Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine market shot up to No. 8 from No. 17 and San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos went from No. 14 to No. 9.

In Florida, Miami and Tampa-St. Petersburg were noted as the highest-risk markets. The Tampa market soared from No. 32 to No. 16 in the latest report.

Nevada, Arizona, Oregon and Virginia were also cited as states with markets among the worst 50.

"California markets are experiencing the largest price declines, accounting for 16 of the top 20 largest price-decline markets," the report said. "Florida accounts for the remaining 4 markets."

Among the 10 markets with the highest mortgage risk, CoreLogic said home-price depreciation was highest in Stockton, at 22.2 percent; followed by Riverside, at 21.3 percent; and Bakersfield, Calif., at 20.2 percent.

"The decline in house prices has created a self-reinforcing feedback loop where lower prices lead to more defaults and excess housing inventory, which in turn cause demand to decline and prices to fall further," the report stated.

Stockton had the highest risk of foreclosure among the top-10 mortgage-risk markets, followed by Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, Calif., and San Diego. The risk of mortgage fraud was highest in Bakersfield, trailed by Stockton and Sacramento.

Texas and Idaho were mentioned as states "with enough appreciation momentum -- driven by cyclical industries -- to overcome these inflationary pressures."

In fact, Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, had the lowest mortgage risk of any market in the country, and Dallas-Plano-Irving had the second-lowest risk. While home price appreciation was highest in Syracuse, N.Y. -- at 7.1 percent, Austin-Round Rock, Texas was No. 2 at 6.2 percent appreciation.

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