A measure of national mortgage risk rose 9 percent since October of last year, underscoring the expectation that borrower defaults will continue to pressue the mortgage finance industry for the foreseeable future. The Core Mortgage Risk Index (CMRI), produced at the start of each quarter by First American CoreLogic, found that a greater preponderance of REO properties, flat or declining housing prices, and slower job growth were all factors increasing immediate mortgage risk. California, Michigan and Florida lead the country in the number of highest-risk CMRI markets; California alone accounted for five of the top ten markets, including the top three, Bakersfield, Stockton and Fresno located in the Central Valley. Michigan and California together accounted for eight of the top ten highest risk CMRI markets. (See the below map for a quick summary of risk classifications for key metropolitan areas.) q12008_cmrm_exhibit1_web.jpg Florida accounted for the 14 most increasingly-risky housing markets, CoreLogic said. Ohio also demonstrated a strong increase in mortgage mortgage risk to close out last year, containing five of the top 20 highest-risk CMRI markets. CoreLogic said that its previous data found mortgage risk to continue to rise well after a recession had ended -- and implied that a recession was already underway, with the company forecasting that the CMRI will continue to rise nationally for the next 18 months. Click here to download the full report. For more information, visit http://www.facorelogic.com.