Loan Delinquency Rate Up, Potential Home Sales Improve

by Phil Hall, August 22, 2016 as published on National Mortgage Professional Magazine

The week is getting off to a bit of a decent start, at least in terms of the latest housing market data.

Black Knight Financial Services’ “first look” at July’s mortgage environment has determined that the U.S. home loan delinquency rate rose 4.78 percent from June, although it is down 3.38 percent from July 2015. There were more solid numbers regarding foreclosure starts—61,300 in July, down 11.54 percent from June and down 14.27 percent from a year ago—and on the total pre-sale foreclosure inventory—1.09 percent, down 1.68 percent from the previous month and down a significant 28.36 percent from one year earlier.

However, the number of properties that are 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure reached nearly 2.3 million, up 108,000 from June but down 70,000 from July 2015.

Separately, First American Financial Corp.’s proprietary Potential Home Sales model determined that the market for existing-home sales underperformed its potential in July by 1.3 percent or an estimated 92,000 seasonally adjusted, annualized rate (SAAR) of sales. This an improvement over June’s revised under-performance gap of 1.8 percent, or 104,000 (SAAR) sales. First American also reported that the market potential for existing-home sales grew last month by 0.15 percent compared to June, an increase of 8,000 (SAAR) sales, and increased by 5.4 percent compared to a year ago.

However, Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American, noted that a thorny problem that has bedeviled the housing recovery is showing no signs of abating.

“Low inventories still remain an issue, dropping to a 4.6-month supply, down from the 4.7-month supply seen in April and May, and from the 4.9-month supply of June 2015,” he said. “The constrained supply in this sellers’ market continues to frustrate potential homebuyers and adds further upward pressure to nominal home prices, which rose an estimated five percent year-over-year in May, according to the Case-Shiller House Price Index.”

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