Borrowers behind on their mortgage payments are twice as likely to list their properties for sale compared to borrowers who are current on their payments, according to new data from Black Knight Financial Services.
But with fewer people behind on their mortgage, inventories across the country are tightening. The non-current inventory of properties is down 500,000 from a year earlier (and down from 3 million in March 2012). As such, the number of non-current mortgaged properties listed for sale has dropped from 7.7 percent in 2012 to 3.4 percent today.
The decline in delinquent properties is one reason behind the overall decline in mortgaged properties for sale, Black Knight notes. However, the status of a mortgage payment is not the only reason for tight inventories of homes for sale.
“People with adjustable-rate mortgages are more likely to list their homes than those with fixed rates, which is hardly surprising given that buyers often choose ARMs when they plan to stay in their homes for less time,” says Ben Graboske, senior vice president of Black Knight Data & Analytics. “Interestingly, borrowers with low fixed interest rates – 4.25 percent or below – are less likely to put their homes on the market than those with higher rates. This is something to keep an eye on if and when interest rates begin to rise. Should the trend hold true, rising interest rates could put an even greater strain on an already tight housing inventory.”