It's been years since the Bay Area housing market began its dramatic, post-recession appreciation in prices, and delinquency rates for home loans keep falling across the region.
The foreclosure nightmares of the Great Recession are now a vague memory. In the San Jose metropolitan area — defined as including all of Santa Clara and San Benito counties — only 1.4% of mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days in July, compared with 1.7% a year earlier. The share of seriously delinquent mortgages — at least 90 days past due — fell from 0.7% in July 2016 to 0.5% in July 2017.
In the San Francisco metropolitan area, 1.8% of home loans were in the early stages of delinquency — at least 30 days overdue — in July, down from 2.1% one year earlier. More seriously delinquent loans, of 90 days or more, were down from 0.9% in July 2016 to 0.6% in July 2017. (The San Francisco metro area includes Oakland, as well as all of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Marin counties.)
This is according to a new report by the CoreLogic real estate information service, which periodically gauges the mortgage market’s health by measuring early-stage delinquency rates.
Compare those latest numbers — dramatically low — to the rather shocking state of the market back in December 2008, when the region was in the middle of the recession: Half the homes sold throughout the Bay Area in that month were foreclosures. In Santa Clara County, foreclosures accounted for 41.2% of all homes sold in December 2008 — on the heels of the Sept. 29 stock market crash — compared with 8% in December 2007.
"The whole Bay Area is now well below the national figure for foreclosures," said Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic's chief economist, "and that is because the local economy is very good, unemployment is very low and incomes are rising — which means most families have the income coming in to enable them to stay current on their mortgage."
Also, because prices are up in the region — the median sales price of a single-family home is above $1 million in several counties — homeowners "generally have a lot of equity wealth," Martell said. And studies show that homeowners with lots of equity to lose tend not to lose it.
Nationally, according to the new CoreLogic report, the share of delinquencies overdue by 30-59 days fell from 2.3% in July 2016 to 2% in July 2017. The seriously delinquent rate fell from 2.5% to 1.9% during that same one-year period — and remains near the 10-year low of 1.7%.
Still, Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, pointed to some "worrying trends" in other parts of the nation.
"For example," he said, "markets affected by the decline in oil production or anemic job creation have seen an increase in defaults. We see this in markets such as Anchorage, Baton Rouge and Lafayette, La., where the serious delinquency rate rose over the last year."
Tribune Content Agency