The “foreclosure crisis” that we keep hearing about is an American problem, but the truth is—just like a heat wave or an ice storm—it’s hit some states worse than others.
The LPS Mortgage Monitor, which tracks people who are behind in their mortgages, just released September data. The good news is that the number of “lates” (people who are delinquent on their mortgage by one or more months, plus actual foreclosures) is down from the peak. The more interesting news, probably, is that the real estate recovery is shifting.
States with the Most Foreclosures and Delinquencies:
Florida (23.5% of all mortgages late)
What’s notable about the top five is the rise of Louisiana foreclosures, which just six months ago had only 12.6% of mortgages late. I wonder if what we’re seeing is the impact of the Gulf oil spill slowing Louisiana’s economy.
The West Shows Recovery
Here are the next ten, with late rates ranging from 13.2% to 14.5%. (Remember that as scary as these numbers look, not every late mortgage payment is going to result in a foreclosure.)
Surprising about this bunch of states is the recovery in the West. The stats show recovery in Arizona, which in March was 4th on the list of most-distressed states, recovering to 10th place by September.
Similarly, we see recovery in California, which in March had a “non-current” rate of 14.3% – but by September, that had dropped to 11%. In March, California was 6th on the list of most-distressed states; by September it had dropped to 14th.
Northeastern States Still Suffer
The next ten states, with late rates from 11.6% to 13.1%, are:
The northeastern states are suffering a little here. Pennsylvania is pretty consistent in the rankings—it was 27th in March and 25th in September—but its percentage of lates moved up from 9.9% to 11.6%. Similarly, New York’s percentage of lates moved up from 11.6% in March to 12.9% in September.
Texas Data Is Suprising
The next ten states, with late rates from 9.7% to 11.5% ,are:
Texas’ late rate has slipped from 9.5% to 11.0%—an unfortunate dip because in general, the big cities of Texas weathered the housing crash relatively well, in part because their markets had never gotten as bubbilicious as some places. I didn’t list the District of Columbia, but if it were a state, it would have slipped in between Utah and Idaho, with a late rate of 10.1%.
Follow The Snowbunnies
Now we’re down to the last fifteen states, which I would argue did a pretty good job of “escaping” the foreclosure crisis with late rates under 10%.
There are a lot of cold-weather states here: Vermont, New Hampshire, Colorado, etc. Maybe the newest rule for investors should be that it’s unlikely that there will be a housing bubble forming anywhere you can ski.
The Dakotas Finally Stand Out
The very last five, the states that are doing the absolute best, are:
I’d love to hear from readers around the country—just post a note in the comments telling me where you’re from, and what’s happening in your state!
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