The housing market is continuing its descent into Slumpsville, judging by the way things have gone over the first quarter of 2008, and indicators don’t look good for the immediate future, either. American homeowners have been forced into foreclosure in record numbers this year and late payments have soared to a new high.
AP via Yahoo News:
“The economy is treading water, and the housing market is one of the undercurrents trying to pull it down,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.
Nearly 1 percent, or roughly 447,723 loans, fell into foreclosure during the January-to-March period, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday in its quarterly snapshot of the mortgage market. That surpassed the previous high of 0.83 percent over the last three months in 2007.
The report also found that more homeowners slipped behind on their monthly payments. The delinquency rate jumped to 6.35 percent—or 2.87 million loans—compared with 5.82 percent for the previous three months. Payments are considered delinquent if they are 30 or more days past due.
Both the rate of new foreclosures and late payments were the highest on record going back to 1979.