MBA Survey Confirms Q1 Foreclosure Surge
The first quarter MBA National Delinquency Survey released today largely supports the findings of the RealtyTrac Q1 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report released at the end of April, which found overall foreclosure activity increased 23 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 and 112 percent from the first quarter of 2007.
That closely mirrored the trend in MBA’s foreclosure rate, which put the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at 2.47 percent at the end of the first quarter, up 21 percent from the 2.04 percent reported in the fourth quarter of 2007 and up 93 percent from the 1.28 percent reported in the first quarter of 2007.
The trend lines are even closer when looking at the RealtyTrac first quarter foreclosure rate (0.515 percent of total housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter), which was up 21 percent from the fourth quarter of 2007 — exactly the same percentage increase as the MBA foreclosure rate — and up 109 percent from the first quarter of 2007.
The record-high delinquency rate reported by the MBA in the first quarter indicates that foreclosure activity has not peaked, which is also reflected in the numbers RealtyTrac has reported so far for the second quarter. The total number of properties with foreclosure filings in the RealtyTrac April report was the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac began issuing the report in January 2005.
The four states with the highest foreclosure rates in the RealtyTrac first quarter report — Nevada, California, Arizona and Florida — were also the four states identified in the MBA report as having the most severe foreclosure problems. Those four states accounted for 47 percent of the total foreclosure activity in the RealtyTrac report and 42 percent of the foreclosure starts in the MBA report.
Both the RealtyTrac and MBA reports identified Ohio and Michigan as states where foreclosure activity decreased in the first quarter. It’s too early to say that the lower foreclosure numbers in states such as Ohio and Michigan represent a light at the end tunnel for the battered real estate industry, but it’s certain that the continued surge in foreclosures in populous states such as Florida and California will cast a shadow over the entire U.S. housing market for several months and even years to come.