The largest 100 metropolitan areas showed a steady downward trend in serious mortgage delinquency rates, according to new data released by Foreclosure-Response.org, a joint venture of the the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Urban Institute, and the Center for Housing Policy.
From the period encompassing December, 2009 through June, 2011, serious delinquencies steadily declined from a height of 10.4 percent to 9.3 percent.
"The serious delinquency rate is the share of loans in foreclosure plus the share of loans delinquent 90 or more days. Its decline has been driven primarily by a decrease in delinquent loans, which dropped from 5.5 percent in December 2009 to 3.7 percent in June 2011," according to the report.
The average foreclosure rate for the three quarters ending in June, 2011 was flat at 5.5 percent. In Riverside and Stockton, California, the foreclosure rate decreased the most, down 1.9 percentage points and 1.7 percentage points, respectively, from the peak in December 2009. Other areas of concern such as Florida, New York, and Illinois metros, on the other hand, experienced steadily rising foreclosure rates Tampa climbed 2.8 percentage points,while Chicago saw a rise equalling 2.3 percentage points. Rates rose in New York City 2.1 percent during the same period. The report distinguishes these three states because they require judicial foreclosure proceedings, "in which a court must make the final decision about whether a property can exit foreclosure. This process can create a significant backlog of foreclosures."
"The foreclosure inventory that is building up is going to take an incredibly long time for lenders to clear," said Urban Institute research associate Leah Hendey. "At the current pace of foreclosure sales, we are looking at a process that could take decades to complete. It is critical that the status of these properties be resolved quickly if we want to stabilize communities and housing markets." The dataset and national rankings are available at Foreclosure-Response.org.