Thursday, March 17, 2005

From the business section

Mortgage rates have increased to a 7-month high at an average of 5.95% according to the AP in a story released today. Not hard to believe, especially living in Phoenix when it seems I'm subjected to weekly stories about speculative buying and increasing median-home prices.

At the end of the article, I found a couple of interesting if not useless statistics:

Separately, the share of homeowners who were behind on their mortgage payments in the final quarter of 2004 dropped to 4.23 percent, from 4. 41 percent in the third quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday. The fourth-quarter's delinquency rate was the lowest since the second quarter of 2000.

The share of mortgages that started foreclosure process, meanwhile, rose to 0.44 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 0.39 percent in the third quarter.

Makes sense when you take into account recent economic reports about job growth and the state-of-the-economy in general. I have no way to know but the researcher in me wants to understand if the increase in the one stat is due to the decrease in the other--in otherwords, did the share of homowners behind on their morgtages decrease because X-% of them started on forclosure proceedings?

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