Mortgage delinquency rate falls in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City

Iowa mortgage debt rose 3.23 percent

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Foreclosure rates in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City decreased in October over the same period last year, according to data from CoreLogic of Santa Ana, Calif.

The rate of Cedar Rapids area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 2.09 percent for October, down 0.05 percentage points from 2.14 percent in October 2011. Foreclosure activity in Cedar Rapids was lower than the national foreclosure rate, which was 3.06 percent for October.

The Cedar Rapids mortgage delinquency rate also declined with 3.53 percent of mortgage loans 60 days or more past due in October, down from 3.66 percent for the same period last year.

CoreLogic reported the rate of Iowa City area foreclosures among outstanding mortgage loans was 1.08 percent in October, a decrease of 0.22 percent from 1.30 percent in October 2011. The Iowa City mortgage delinquency rate also declined in October with 2.04 percent of loans 60 days or more past due compared with 2.18 percent in the same month of 2011.

Separately, Chicago-based TransUnion reported the national mortgage delinquency rate declined slightly for the third consecutive quarter, dropping to 5.41 percent in the third quarter from 5.49 percent  in the quarter that ended on June 30.

In Iowa, the mortgage delinquency rate was 2.86 percent at the end of the third quarter on Sept. 30. The average Iowa mortgage debt rose 3.23 percent to $125,530 in the third quarter from $121,607 in the same quarter of 2011.

Florida had the highest mortgage delinquency rate at the end of the third quarter at 13.09 percent, followed by Nevada at 10.93 percent, New Jersey at 8.93 percent and Maryland at 6.86 percent.

North Dakota had the lowest mortgage delinquency rate with 1.44 percent, followed by South Dakota at 2.21 percent, Nebraska at 2.25 percent and Alaska at 2.48 percent.

"Continued declines in mortgage delinquency rates are a welcome sign and reflect that relatively more homeowners are able and willing to make their mortgage payments each month," said Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing in TransUnion's financial services business unit. "However, we still have a long way to go to reach more 'normal' conditions of a delinquency rate in the 1 percent to 2 percent range for the U.S. average."

TransUnion expects the mortgage delinquency rate to fall again in the current quarter, but only slightly.

"It's generally tough to expect improvement in delinquency rates in the fourth quarter of the year given the extra demands on household income that many experience during the holiday season," Martin said. "However, we saw some improvement in the housing market in the third quarter with regard to house prices, home sales and increased refinance activity.

"We believe we will start to see these numbers reflected in improved mortgage delinquency next quarter. As such, we forecast the year-end delinquency rate to improve to something in the range of 5.25 percent to 5.35 percent."

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