The hurricane that slammed south Texas last August damaged or destroyed thousands of homes.
Months later, the Houston-area mortgage market is seeing a spike in delinquent housing payments. The percentage of homeowners who are behind on their loans jumped to more than 7 percent in a new report from CoreLogic.
"The delinquency rate has almost doubled on a year-over-year basis," said CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft. "That's a direct impact from Hurricane Harvey."
While in some cases homeowners may have just missed payments while they were dislocated after the storm, in other instances they've decided to walk their mortgage.
Areas of Florida and Puerto Rico that suffered hurricane damage are also seeing an increase in late payments.
"There are some markets where we have seen some sharp increases in delinquencies, particularly those markets visited by hurricanes," Nothaft said. "Texas markets such as Houston, Beaumont, Victoria and Corpus Christie peaked at over 7 percent in September, but are on the mend and improving in October."
Nationwide, only about 5 percent of homeowners with a mortgage are a month or more behind, CoreLogic finds.
"We've seen the lowest delinquency rates now in 10 years nationwide," Nothaft said. "Foreclosure rates are also down."
Statewide, 6.8 percent of Texas homeowners with a mortgage were at least one payment behind in October, compared with 5.5 percent in the same month of 2016.
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