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Keep up to date with NHC and the Center for Housing Policy! team releases latest data on serious mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates for all 366 U.S. metro

Serious delinquency rates continue to show signs of stabilization in U.S. metropolitan areas

April 28, 2011

WASHINGTON—The three co-creators of—the Center for Housing Policy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Urban Institute—have compiled and released the newest data from December 2010 on seriously delinquent mortgages for all 366 U.S. metro areas. Serious delinquency rates stabilized for most metropolitan areas nationally even as the average rate for nation’s 100 largest metro areas remained quite high, suggesting an improving–but still severe–foreclosure crisis.

Key findings from the December data:

  • The overall serious delinquency rate declined over the past year, while the share of loans in foreclosure rose.  For the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, the average serious delinquency rate – which is comprised of loans in the foreclosure inventory and those at least 90 days delinquent – stood at 9.7% in December 2010, down from a high of 10.4% at the end of the 2009.  The downward movement reflects a decline in the 90+ day delinquency rate, which fell 1.4 percentage points from 5.5% to 4.1%.   The foreclosure rate, however, increased by 0.7 percentage points, rising from 4.9% to 5.6%.  Taken together, these statistics suggest that the foreclosure problem remains severe but the pipeline of troubled loans may be slowly shrinking.  The evidence also suggests that loans may be lingering longer in the foreclosure inventory. 
  • Metropolitan areas in Florida and the southwestern United States continue to experience some of the highest rates of serious delinquency. Many Sun Belt cities scored well above the 100-largest-metro-areas average. Other than Las Vegas (with the second-worst serious delinquency rates in the country), the ten metro areas with the highest rates of severe delinquency are all in Florida. Rates in 17 Florida metro areas are also among the 25 highest.
  • Serious delinquency rates are declining in many hard-hit California metro areas. Although California is still experiencing above-average rates of serious delinquency, several California metro areas such as Riverside, Stockton, Bakersfield, and Modesto have experienced some of the largest year-over-year drops in serious delinquency across all 100 largest metro areas.  For example, Riverside-San Bernardino ranks 20th in serious delinquency across all metropolitan areas with a severe delinquency rate of 15.4%; however, this rate has declined more than four percentage points since December 2009.
  • Serious delinquency rates fall or stabilize for many Midwestern metros. While a few Midwestern metro areas, such as Detroit and Youngstown, saw downward year-over-year trends in serious delinquency, others like Chicago, Columbus and Milwaukee had serious delinquency rates that flattened out but did not drop substantially.

The new data are the latest in a series of quarterly data, released by the team first in late 2010, that provided the first-ever data on serious delinquency rates for all 366 U.S. metros.

More detailed analysis about the largest 100 metropolitan areas, information on the methodology, and a complete ranking of all 366 U.S. metropolitan areas are available at: