Economic concerns mount on persistently weak housing data
Separate home-sales reports released this week affirmed the
weakness in the U.S. housing market - and data from the Mortgage
Bankers Association suggests that further concerns may be
According to the industry group, mortgage delinquencies are on the rise once again. The delinquency rate showed signs of falling early in the year, but it appears to be marching upward - a sign that more foreclosures could occur in the months or years to come. The foreclosure rate did drop in the second quarter, at least.
MBA chief economist Jay Brinkmann noted that the delinquency rate was closely tied to the number of new unemployment claims. Jobless claims have been on the rise of late; they topped half a million last week for the first time since November.
"On the surface, there is good news on the foreclosure front, but not on short term delinquencies," Reuters quoted Brinkmann as saying.
On the back of the bad news in housing, Nouriel Roubini, the economist who has become famous for his prognostications of doom, said to CNBC that the risk of a double-dip recession is increasing. He pegs the chances of a double-dip at 40 percent.
By Steve Monfort