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More Las Vegas homeowners months behind on mortgages

Las Vegas’ share of homeowners who are months late on their mortgage payments shot higher in June, another sign of the pandemic’s economic fallout.

An estimated 5.3 percent of Las Vegas-area home loans were in “serious” delinquency, or at least 90 days past due, in June, up from 1.74 percent in May, housing tracker CoreLogic reported this week.

Nationally, an estimated 3.4 percent of mortgages were in serious delinquency in June, up from 1.5 percent the month before.

The share of borrowers who are behind on their payments still is well below the levels of the Great Recession a decade or so ago after the housing bubble burst. But without more government help, CoreLogic said this week, serious delinquency rates could nearly double by early 2022, with “millions of families” across the U.S. potentially losing their homes.

Overall, the firm expects serious delinquencies to especially rise among lower-income households, small-business owners and people who work in “sectors like tourism that have been hard hit by the pandemic,” CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said in the news release.

Las Vegas, whose casino-heavy economy is fueled by tourism, has suffered enormous job losses because of the public health crisis. The local housing market was initially hit hard by the turmoil, but sales quickly rebounded, and prices have reached all-time highs.

Record-low mortgage rates have fueled the housing surge by letting buyers lock in lower monthly payments. But the market is by no means on steady ground.

According to CoreLogic, payments on an estimated 10.1 percent of Las Vegas-area home loans were at least 30 days late in June.

That was down slightly from 10.5 percent in May but up sharply from 3.07 percent in Januarybefore the pandemic sparked sweeping business closures and other shutdowns.

Despite the increased delinquencies, the situation was far worse after the mid-2000s real estate craze flamed out and the broader economy tanked.

In Las Vegas, ground zero for the boom and bust, 24.7 percent of mortgages were at least 30 days delinquent in February 2010, up from 2.4 percent in March 2006, CoreLogic previously reported.

Locally, 19.4 percent of mortgages were at least 90 days delinquent in 2010, up from just 0.6 percent in March 2006.

Contact Eli Segall at esegall@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0342. Follow @eli_segall on Twitter.

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