Friday, 21 August 2009

The US housing market continues to wobble

Increasing unemployment leading to rising late mortgage payments, the US housing market remains in poor shape.

NEW YORK, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Late payments on U.S. mortgages increased to a record high in the second quarter, with almost one in eight homeowners delinquent or in the process of foreclosure.

The percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions were started edged down from the first quarter, driven by a sharp drop in actions on subprime adjustable-rate mortgages, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday.

But other types of loans, particularly prime, fixed-rate loans, saw a surge in new foreclosure actions as rising unemployment affected more borrowers, the trade group said.