Bill McBride over at Calculated Risk has a post out this morning with 2 charts of data from LPS on the housing recovery. The first shows that homes in ‘active’ status, either in foreclosure, delinquent or otherwise ‘non-current’ has fallen below 2008 levels for the first time.
Which is the primary axis and which is the secondary is kind of a mystery and we are left to assume that both are x1,000 so that would imply the left axis is secondary (Or is it?) The most interesting factoid on the chart is in the box on the upper left; The percent of DQ homeowners active (in the foreclosure pipeline instead of being ignored) has doubled. To me this looks like a market that’s starting to clear, which is good for housing and the economy in general.
The next chart looks at the percent of mortgaged homes with negative equity and nationwide the number has fallen below 18%. LPS explains:
At 0.84 percent, the March new problem loan rate is approaching pre-crisis levels, and nearing the conditions of 2000-2004 when the rate averaged 0.55 percent. However, as LPS Applied Analytics Senior Vice President Herb Blecher explained, a borrower’s equity position is still a key indicator of his or her propensity to default.
There has always been a clear correlation between higher levels of negative equity and new problem loan rates,” Blecher said. “Looking at the March data, we see that borrowers with equity are actually outperforming the national average — at 0.6 percent, this group is quite close to pre-crisis norms.
The shrinking negative equity component is also important for another reason Fewer people are stuck in their homes which means they are free to move to a market with better job prospects or to downsize in their current location; both good for the economy and apartment building investment.