HFA delinquency rate hits record high in S&P report
Delinquencies for housing finance agency loans increased 0.62% in the second quarter to 6.67%, according to a Standard & Poor's report released today. This is the highest percentage the firm has seen since it started tracking such data in Q2 2006 and up 1.37% from Q209. "The increase in HFA delinquencies is not surprising given the continued high unemployment rates," the report said. "Standard & Poor's expects U.S. home prices and sales to remain volatile until employment improves." The HFA delinquency rate, however, is still lower than the collective state delinquency rate which decreased to 7.24%. California, Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan had loans with delinquency rates above 10% in Q2. Colorado's rate dropped to 9.69% from above 10% and is now ranked fifth behind New Jersey (9.81%). This is the first time that HFA delinquencies and state delinquencies have shown an inverse relationship in the history of S&P's relevant data. "Whether the gap between these two high delinquency rates will continue to narrow is unclear at this time," the report said. "We expect that both rates will remain high as long as the unemployment rate remains high." The report also said S&P had no future predictions for the volatility of portfolio delinquencies. Write to Christine Ricciardi.