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RISMEDIA, June 10, 2008-The first quarter MBA National Delinquency Survey released last week largely supports the findings of the RealtyTrac Q1 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report released at the end of April, which found overall foreclosure activity increased 23% from the fourth quarter of 2007 and 112% from the first quarter of 2007.

That closely mirrored the trend in MBA’s foreclosure rate, which put the percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at 2.47% at the end of the first quarter, up 21% from the 2.04% reported in the fourth quarter of 2007 and up 93% from the 1.28% reported in the first quarter of 2007.

The trend lines are even closer when looking at the RealtyTrac first quarter foreclosure rate (0.515% of total housing units with a foreclosure filing during the quarter), which was up 21% from the fourth quarter of 2007 – exactly the same percentage increase as the MBA foreclosure rate – and up 109% from the first quarter of 2007.

The record-high delinquency rate reported by the MBA in the first quarter indicates that foreclosure activity has not peaked, which is also reflected in the numbers we’re seeing for the second quarter. The total number of properties with foreclosure filings in the RealtyTrac April report was the highest monthly total since we began issuing the report in January 2005.

State trends

The four states with the highest foreclosure rates in the RealtyTrac first quarter report – Nevada, California, Arizona and Florida – were also the four states identified in the MBA report as having the most severe foreclosure problems. Those four states accounted for 47% of the total foreclosure activity in the RealtyTrac report and 42% of the foreclosure starts in the MBA report.

Both the RealtyTrac and MBA reports identified Ohio and Michigan as states where foreclosure activity decreased in the first quarter. It’s too early to say that the lower foreclosure numbers in states such as Ohio and Michigan represent a light at the end tunnel for the battered real estate industry, but it’s certain that the continued surge in foreclosures in populous states such as Florida and California will cast a shadow over the entire U.S. housing market for several months and even years to come.

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