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Small Town Mortgage Delinquencies are Growing

While the overall national delinquency rate has been shrinking, small and local economies are being left behind, according to a study from MoneyGeek. Many of these cities, MoneyGeek notes, were at or near national delinquency levels in previous years, and have recently increased.

“As any real estate agent, mortgage broker or housing economist will tell you, there’s no such thing as a national real estate market,” MoneyGeek says. “Housing economies are intensely local, which explains why some metro areas have outsized numbers of struggling homeowners despite a nationwide economic boom.”

At the top of the ranking is East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, with a 90-day mortgage delinquency rate of 2.30%, well above the national rate of 0.84%, despite higher-than-average employment rates and wages in surrounding Monroe County. The average household income of $64,170 in Monroe County is higher than the national average, and the poverty rate of 12.3% is below the national average.

“Pennsylvania has 3 MSAs (East Stroudsburg, PA is #1) on our top delinquency list and the #1 entry on our list of MSAs with increasing delinquency rates (Chambersburg-Waynesboro, PA),” MoneyGeek’s Head of Marketing, Doug Milnes, told DS News.

Milnes also notes that as Pennsylvania is a swing state in the upcoming election, it is interesting to see how several metros in this state are being left behind. East Stroudsburg, for example, has experienced economic recovery, just not as quickly as some other areas of the country. Meanwhile home values in Monroe County remain below their 2007 peak of $314,580.

With the election on its way, Milnes notes that another high delinquency metro, Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana, has been a stopping point for recent Presidents, including Donald Trump and Barack Obama. Elkhart's LT Delinquency rate has increased by 86% on a year on year basis to just over twice the national average at 1.4%.

MoneyGeek also identified the metros where delinquencies are rising. These included Chambersburg-Waynesboro, Pennsylvania and Kingston, New York.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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