Five years ago, 20% of mortgages were 90-days delinquent during the peak years of the foreclosure crisis. At that time, some economists were talking about whether there could be a "squatter stimulus" in the local economy, meaning that some local households actually had more disposable income because they weren't paying for housing. Those impacts were never large, but it is just remarkable how much the conversation has changed in five years. It's not surprising, in fact its what we predicted. But it still seems strange to be talking more about the lack of affordable housing than the foreclosure crisis.
While foreclosures and delinquencies recede to normal levels, it doesn't mean the impacts of the housing crisis are in the past just as Stockton's emergence from bankruptcy protection does not mean the city governments financial challenges are in the past. Nevertheless, the latest data on foreclosures and delinquencies is a very welcome sign of progress.