Delinquencies Increase Nine Quarters
Mortgage loans 60 or more days delinquent rose to 5.2% of total mortgage loans in Q109, from 4.6% in Q408, as the housing industry continues to suffer the extent of the economic downturn. It marks the ninth straight quarterly increase in the delinquency rate seen in TransUnion.com's analysis of 27m anonymous, randomly sampled credit files. TransUnion, one of the major US credit bureaus, conducts a survey of exactly 27m credit files from its total consumer base, or about one in every nine consumer files in its database of 250m consumer files each quarter, a spokesperson told HousingWire. The Q109 delinquency rate is up from 3.2% in the year-ago quarter. Nevada and Florida saw the highest delinquency rates of 11.6% and 11%, respectively, while North Dakota, South Dakota and Alaska saw the lowest rates of 1.5%, 1.9% and 2.1% respectively. "The troubling news is that the mortgage delinquency rate continues to climb upward at an average quarterly pace almost doubling that experienced in the last recession," says Keith Carson, a TransUnion senior consultant, in a media statement today. "For example," he adds, "during the 2001 recession...the average quarter-to-quarter national mortgage delinquency growth rate was nearly 6.5% -- compared to the nearly 12% quarter-to-quarter delinquency growth we are experiencing today. However...[F]or the first time since the recession began at the end of 2007, the quarterly growth rate for national mortgage delinquency decreased." Florida's quarterly delinquency growth rate, for instance, slowed from 22% during Q408 to about 16% during Q109. In other words, the rate at which delinquencies increase is slowing down in most areas. "While this may sound like trying to make good news out of bad, in fact it is an indication that we may be currently working our way through the worst of the recession," Carson adds. The industry still has a long way to fall, with delinquencies among single-family mortgages at the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) now up to 2.96% and 2.44%, respectively. Write to Diana Golobay.