Friday, December 5, 2008

Flat with Beer Chaser

Despite stepped up prevention, foreclosure starts were flat on the latest MBA dipstick:

“In the last quarter we saw about 575,000 foreclosure actions started, compared with an estimated 580,000 in the second quarter and 535,000 in the first quarter. At this rate we are looking at finishing 2008 at about 2.2 million foreclosure actions started. Absent a recession, the 2009 number would likely have fallen by several hundred thousand but the effects of job losses and general economic deterioration make the 2009 outlook worse, particularly if mortgage problems [?] become more widespread,” Brinkmann said.

This means that Ben's guesstimate for 2.25 million, from just yesterday, is kinda the best case scenario, other things being equal.

The figures may have been influenced upwards by the end of state moratoriums on foreclosures (why the data cannot be adjusted for this, only the MBA knows...). How many more mortgage foreclosures from California and Florida are possible (they are about half of the foreclosure total)? Good grief.

Meanwhile, serious delinquencies are at previously unrecorded levels... Prime is up at 2.87%. At 0.52/quarter, that's an acceleration given a y/o/r rate of up 1.56. Somehow these delinquencies are being cured, because the foreclosure start rate for prime is flat and those already in foreclosure is up a lot less (0.16 t 1.58), on the MBA survey data, at least.

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