Mortgage Delinquencies Decline in February, Remain High in Hurricane-Hit Areas

Print Email

The share of home mortgage loan payments that are 30 days or more past due fell from 5.0% in February 2017 to 4.8% in February 2018. The foreclosure inventory rate fell from 0.8% to 0.6% in the same period.

The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 0.9% in February 2018, down from 1.0% in February 2017. This year’s rate is somewhat lower than the transition rate of 1.2% just before the housing crisis struck and well below the peak rate of 2.0% in November 2008.

The data were reported Tuesday by CoreLogic in its Loan Performance Insights report. Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30 to 59 days past due, remained flat year over year in February 2018 at 2.1%. The share of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due in February 2018 was 0.7%, also flat compared with last year’s rate. According to CoreLogic, measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market.

CoreLogic’s chief economist, Dr. Frank Nothaft, said:

Last year’s hurricanes continue to have an effect on loan performance in affected markets, showing up in statewide data. Serious delinquency rates in February were 50 percent higher than in August 2017 in Texas, and nearly double in Florida, even though the wind and flood damage was primarily in coastal markets. In Puerto Rico, the damage was widespread. Serious delinquency rates were up five-fold over the August-to-February period, with a significant increase in all metropolitan areas there.

Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, added:

Overall delinquency rates fell in the U.S. over the past year, driven by a long run of stringent underwriting, higher employment and wages. At the same time, our CoreLogic U.S. Home Price Index (HPI) showed a 6.4 percent increase in home-price appreciation for the 12 months, which ended in February 2018. These factors bode well for the fortunes of both homeowners and mortgage servicers.

The states with the lowest 30-plus delinquency rate in February 2018 were Colorado (2.0%), North Dakota (2.2%) and Washington (2.4%). The 30-plus delinquency rate was highest in Mississippi (8.6%) and Florida (8.1%).

Among the 10 largest U.S. metro areas, the highest 30-plus delinquency rates in February were posted in Miami (10.3%) and Houston (8.6%). Among these same metro areas, the lowest rate was reported in San Francisco (1.7%). Denver also posted a less than 2% rate in the month.

I'm interested in the Newsletter