Mortgage delinquencies fell to a 10-year low in March, according to property information provider CoreLogic, the lowest readings since the nation began to feel the grip of the worst housing crisis since the Depression.
Irvine, California-based CoreLogic said delinquent mortgages, early-stage delinquencies and foreclosure rates all declined, as the focus of the housing recovery shifts toward addressing tight housing inventory and affordability.
“Early-stage mortgage performance continues to improve at a steady pace, especially for 30-59-day delinquencies which fell to 1.7 percent, the lowest rate for any month since January 2000,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Late-stage serious delinquency rates continue to decline, falling to their lowest levels since November 2007.”
CoreLogic’s monthly Loan Performance Insights Report found that nationally, 4.4% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in March 2017. That is a decline of 0.8 percentage points from 5.2% in the same period a year ago.
The foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, was 0.8%, compared with 1.0% in March 2016. The serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure, was 2.1%, down from 2.7% in March of last year.
Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30-59 days past due, fell to 1.7 % in March 2017, down from 1.9% in March 2016. The share of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due in March 2017 was 0.59%, down slightly from 0.63% in March 2016.
To comprehensively monitor mortgage performance, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency as well as transition rates, which indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next.
“Dropping delinquency and foreclosure rates reflect the beneficial impact of stringent post-crisis underwriting standards as well as better fundamentals such as higher employment, household formation and home price gains,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, in a statement.
Mississippi had the highest percentage of mortgages in some stage of delinquency at 7.8%. New Jersey led the nation in percentage of mortgages in serious delinquency at 4.6%. New Jersey and New York topped the list in highest March foreclosure rate at 2.4%.
North Dakota had the lowest percentage of mortgages in some stage of delinquency at 1.9%. Colorado had the lowest percentage of mortgages in serious delinquency at 0.8%. Colorado and Utah had the lowest percentage in March foreclosure rate at 0.2%.