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Increased Foreclosure Rates In US

By Zaithyn Galter Published 10/12/2007 | Real Estate
The recent housing market boom has left many people in homes that they cannot afford with loans that they never should have been granted. This is resulting in a 72% increase in foreclosures from 2005 to 2006 according to recent reports. Foreclosure rates are increasing in 2007 due to lack of home sales and increasing mortgage rates. There is also a jump in the delinquency rate on US home loans. The biggest increase in delinquency is on sub prime mortgages where the current rate is up from 12.56% to 13.33%. FHA loans are also not far behind with a delinquency rate of just over 13.46%

This increase in foreclosures has affected all areas of the housing market: from starter homes to luxury residences. Industry experts believe that there are several reasons for this increase in home loan delinquencies and the increase in foreclosures. Consumer confidence in the current market might make many first time homebuyers, especially couples, take on a larger mortgage that they can afford. If they are unable to make payment due to a loss in employment for one of the partners, they usually lose their home to a foreclosure. Some experts believe that rising energy prices are also putting a strain on household budgets making it difficult for some consumers to make their mortgage payments.

Another important factor is the cooling off the housing market in some areas of the US. With the decrease in the rate of house sales in these areas foreclosure rates are on the rise. A decline in the price of housing also leads to a loss of equity for the homeowner that makes it difficult for him or her to leverage their property in case of difficulty with payments. The states with the highest current foreclosure rates are Michigan, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Foreclosure rates are high among ARM borrowers. ARM or adjustable rate mortgages frequently offer a low introductory interest rate, which is very tempting to potential homebuyers. Once signed on homeowners might experience an increase in their monthly payments due to increases in current interest rates. This might sometimes prove mortgage unaffordable to some homebuyers and lead to the loss of their property in a foreclosure.

The scenario is not one of doom and gloom however. This is a great time for those interested in purchasing foreclosed properties either as their primary homes or as investment properties. Foreclosure sales can allow one to purchase very desirable residences at a fraction of the real value providing one with instant equity and relatively low monthly payments.

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