States in the Midwest drove quarterly delinquency higher, according to a trade group report. Subprime delinquency soared while late pays on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration tumbled.
Residential delinquency ended the first quarter at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.84 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in its National Delinquency Survey released today. Late pays were down 11 basis points from the fourth quarter but 43 BPS higher than the first quarter 2006.
The survey reflects data from nearly 44 million residential first mortgages, with nearly 6 million of the loans being subprime.
Prime loan delinquency was 2.58 percent, barely changed, while subprime delinquency jumped 44 BPS to 13.77 percent, according to the first quarter data. FHA delinquency tumbled 131 BPS to 12.15 percent, and VA delinquency was down 33 BPS to 6.49 percent.
Delinquency was highest in the South, at 5.59 percent, and lowest in the West, at 3.16 percent, the report indicated.
First quarter foreclosures, which MBA reported at 1.28 percent, were up 9 BPS from the prior period and 30 BPS from a year earlier. The rate of loans entering the foreclosure process was a record 0.58 percent, up 4 BPS from the previous quarter.
"The percentage of loans in foreclosure would be well below the average of the last ten years were it not for Ohio, Michigan and Indiana," MBA Chief Economist Doug Duncan said in a statement. "And the rate of foreclosures started nationwide would have fallen were it not for the big jumps in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona."
Duncan noted foreclosure starts, which declined in 24 states, jumped 19 BPS in Nevada, 13 BPS in Florida and 12 BPS in California -- adding that real estate speculators walking away from properties with falling values have heavily influenced this activity. Driven by activity in these states as well as Arizona, foreclosures started on subprime adjustable-rate mortgages jumped to 3.23 percent from 2.7 percent the prior period.
Indiana, Michigan and Ohio accounted for 20 percent of all U.S. foreclosures -- even though the states account for just 9 percent of all U.S. mortgages, the economist said. He blamed large manufacturing employment declines for Midwest problems.
"The level of foreclosures and foreclosure starts for those three states exceed what occurred in Texas during the oil bust of the mid-1980s, and Ohio is the highest ever seen in the MBA survey for a large state," he added.