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We’ve all heard stories about people who had to choose between paying the mortgage and paying the winter heating bill. Maybe some of us have even been there. A new study by the Mortage Bankers Assn., just released Oct. 13, tries to quantify the problem.
A sample conclusion: When natural gas prices go up 10%, adjusted for inflation, the mortgage delinquency rate goes up 14/100ths of a percentage point in the Midwest and 5/100ths of a percentage point in the Northeast. Higher natural gas prices don’t noticeably affect delinquency rates in the South and West.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.