While the rate of homeowners falling behind on their mortgages is falling nationwide, it’s ticking up in two states with economies closely tied to the price of oil and coal.
The rate of serious delinquencies (mortgages more than 90 days past due) in North Dakota and West Virginia increased 6.7 percent and 0.4 percent year-over-year in February, while every other state saw decreases in the rate, according to the latest foreclosure report from CoreLogic. Forty-three states posted double-digit declines.
CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft attributed the increased delinquency rate in those states to the price declines for the fuels they produce. As of Tuesday, the price of crude oil had dropped more than 19 percent year over year. The price of coal is down more than 10 percent over the same time period.
Nationwide, however, Nothaft said that gains in home prices and incomes have helped stabilize the housing market. “Longer term, we anticipate a better balance of supply with demand in many markets which will help sustain healthy and affordable home values into the future,” he said in a statement.
Nationally, the level of serious delinquency fell nearly 20 percent to its lowest level in eight years. Foreclosure inventory, the number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process, fell nearly 24 percent year-over-year. The number of completed foreclosures dropped 10 percent in the same period.
There were 38,000 completed foreclosures in February, down more than 71 percent from its peak of 118,000 in September 2010. There have been more than 8 million homes lost to foreclosure since homeownership rates peaked in 2004.