Now back to the mainland where everyone else lives:
Any illusion that prime loans would emerge unscathed was shattered by a May 28 report from the Mortgage Bankers Assn. "For the first time since the rapid growth of subprime lending, prime fixed-rate loans now represent the largest share of new foreclosures," the bankers said. The grime in prime was responsible for the worst performance on record for the U.S. mortgage sector in the first quarter: Nearly 13% of loans were delinquent or in foreclosure, the most since the bankers started keeping tabs in 1972. The problems were worst in the bubble states of California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada.
The biggest factor in this second wave of foreclosures is the inability of distressed homeowners to sell in order to pay off their debts. Prices in bubble cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Miami are down less at the high end of the market than at the bottom, according to data from Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price indexes. But that's cold comfort to people who haven't managed to sell at all. According to research by the National Association of Realtors, there are enough $750,000-plus homes on the market to cover more than 40 months' worth of demand at the current rate of sales. That's four times the rate of oversupply in the housing market as a whole. .