An index that tracks the risk of mortgage delinquencies based on housing prices, local economic conditions and fraud increased in the first quarter of 2008 by 23 percent from the previous quarter and 9 percent from a year ago, and is expected to continue rising during the next 18 months. The primary factors in the increase in First American CoreLogic's Core Mortgage Risk Index was the tendency for delinquent mortgages to end up in foreclosure and for homes to become real-estate-owned properties, along with flat or declining home-price appreciation and slower job growth, the company said. Of the 381 markets tracked by First American CoreLogic, 143 are experiencing home-price declines, up from the 121 reported in the fourth quarter of 2007. Home prices are falling at double-digit rates in 36 of those markets -- all in California and Florida, with the exception of Las Vegas and Phoenix. Home prices continue to appreciate above the rate of inflation in 111 markets, with some markets in U...
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