The number of homeowners who missed at least one mortgage payment surged to a record in the first quarter of the year, a sign that the foreclosure crisis is far from over.
More than 10 percent of homeowners had missed at least one mortgage payment in the January-March period, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. That number was up from 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 9.1 percent a year earlier.
More than 4.6 percent of homeowners were in foreclosure, also a record. But that number, which is not adjusted for seasonal factors, was up only slightly from the end of last year.
Stocks slid Wednesday as investors looked past a rising euro and focused on the U.S. economy, including the rising number of foreclosures. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 100 points in early trading. Jay Brinkmann, the trade group's chief economist, said the foreclosure crisis appears to have stabilized. Seasonal adjustments may be exaggerating the change from the previous quarter, he added.
"I don't see signs now that it's getting worse, but it's going to take a while," he said. "A bad situation that's not getting worse is still bad." Full Story
Another validation of what we have stating all along. The current housing recovery is all smoke and mirrors. Numbers are being twisted to make it look like the housing sector has put in a bottom, when in fact it has not. Unemployment is still very high and without a job no one is going to go out and buy a house; worse yet, it is still hard to get approved for a mortgage. Our advice is to avoid the housing sector like the plague unless you get a very very good deal and or are buying farmland.