Don’t expect a flood of foreclosures

The rising costs of almost everything, from groceries to gasoline, are leading to speculations that more people will not be able afford their mortgage payments. This is causing concern that many foreclosures will be on the horizon. Bill McBride, of Calculated Risk, says that while foreclosure filings are up from last year, a flood of them is not on the horizon. McBride, an expert in the housing market who closely followed the data and market conditions leading up to 2008’s crash, was able to predict the foreclosures. There aren’t many homeowners who are seriously behind on their mortgage payments. One of the reasons why there were so few foreclosures during the housing crash is because lending standards were relaxed. This allowed people to get mortgages even if they could not prove that they would be able pay them back. The lending standards were not as strict at that time when it came to assessing credit scores, income, employment status and debt-toincome ratios. But now, the standards are tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers who have the ability to pay their mortgages. Freddie Mac data and Fannie Mae data show that the number of homeowners who fall seriously behind in their mortgage payments has been declining (see graph). Molly Boese explains how few homeowners struggle to make their mortgage payment: “May’s overall delinquency rates matched the all time low, and serious defaults followed suit. The rate of mortgages six months or older past due, which had risen in 2021, is now at a level last seen in March 2020. A wave of foreclosures will not happen because so many buyers make their payments. Qualified buyers are paying their mortgages at a high rate.

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