Sunday, February 14, 2010

Luxury Homeowners Default at Record Rate

Cross posted on

Retail sales came out basically flat, car sales have stabilized(aside from Toyota) and job losses seem to be slowing down. But this long running recession is not finished with exacting pain on jumbo mortgage borrowers.

A record 9.6% of homeowners with a jumbo mortgage are behind on their payments or in foreclosure as the housing crisis spreads to borrowers with previously stellar credit records and six figure incomes. And the wave of foreclosures isn't expected to crest until the end of next year as the walk aways from 2004-7 purchases work their way along the lengthy foreclosure process which had been delayed by various state and federal foreclosure moratoriums.

The seriously late payment rate on prime jumbo loans has doubled from this time last year, and now represents the largest share of new foreclosures. U.S. prime jumbo mortgages backing securities at least 60 days late rose to 9.6 percent in January from 9.2 percent in December, the 32nd straight increase for “serious delinquencies,” according to Fitch Ratings.

The worst of the trouble continues to be centered in California, Nevada, Arizona , Florida; recently Oregon and Washington State have been added to the list of hard hit markets. These states account for 46 percent of new foreclosures in the country. There were no signs of improvement. The pain, however, is spreading throughout the country as mid-level and high end job losses take their toll. Aside from job losses lost bonus income and pay cuts were cited by borrowers as factors in their inability to stay current on their jumbo mortgage payments.

With continued economic weakness and property values in most cities declining we highly recommend our fix it and forget it strategy. Lock in a jumbo loan term that meets your specific personal and financial goals. We tend to favor the 7/1 ARM Jumbo Mortgage at 4.50% or the fixed jumbo loan at 5.625% with a 30Y term. These represent an excellent value considering that in three decades we haven’t had jumbo mortgage rates lower than these levels. As always, make it a prosperous week.

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