As Mortgage Delinquency Rates Drop Americans Remain Skeptical of Housing Recovery

September 11, 2015 | by Michael Wilt

Categories: Affordable Housing, Homeownership, Lending

Earlier this year, the mortgage delinquency rate fell to 4.7%, the lowest rate it has been in eight years. Yet, according to a MacArthur Foundation survey, more than 60% of Americans still think the country is in a housing crisis.

Housing Market Rebounding

At the height of the housing crisis in late 2009, The New York Times reported 14.41% of mortgage holders were either delinquent on a mortgage payment or in foreclosure. That was the highest rate recorded since the Mortgage Bankers Association began tracking the numbers in 1972. Fast forward to this year, and the numbers have vastly improved.

DSNews reported on 2015 first-quarter numbers in April 2015. Highlights include:

  • The 4.7% delinquency rate in March 2015 was the first time the number dipped below 5% since August 2007.
  • The number of loans either 30 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure was down 678,000 from March 2014 to March 2015.  

The numbers continued to improve during the year as a separate DSNews article from August 2015 showed:

  • The delinquency rate at the end of the 2015 second-quarter stood at 2.72%.
  • That 2.72% rate was less than half of the 2012 second-quarter rate of 5.39%.

These numbers reflect a recovering housing industry and display an optimistic outlook for the future.

Americans Still Believe Housing Crisis Exists

In the midst of this encouraging data, the MacArthur Foundation released survey results that revealed gloomy attitudes about the housing recovery. The report states, "Three in five Americans (61%) believe we are either 'still in the middle' of the housing crisis (41%) or 'the worst is yet to come' (20%)." The combined rate of pessimism is down from 77% in 2013 and 70% in 2014, but Americans attitudes are still not in line with the reality of a healthier housing industry.

MacArthur President Julia Stasch explained why negative attitudes persist saying, “Decent housing at an affordable price remains a challenge for an increasing number of Americans, even after the recession has formally ended. It is disturbing that people feel the American dream and prospects for social mobility are receding. This survey is a wake-up call. People want and expect solutions to the housing crisis to be a higher priority for both national and local leaders alike.”

TSAHC and Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention

We offer resources for potential homeowners to empower them to make informed home buying decisions. Before beginning the home buying process, we encourage individuals to use our Texas Mortgage Calculator. The tool provides a best estimate of what you can afford to buy.

Our foreclosure prevention brochure provides valuable information on how to stay in your house after you purchase it. If you experience one or more of the warning signs of a potential mortgage foreclosure, we encourage you to use our Texas Financial Toolbox to locate a foreclosure prevention counselor in your area.


On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

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