Mortgage Delinquencies, Foreclosures Decline in April

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The share of home mortgage loan payments that are 30 days or more past due fell from 4.8% in April 2017 to 4.4% in April 2018. The foreclosure inventory rate fell from 0.7% to 0.6% in the same period.

The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 0.8% in April 2018, down from 1.2% in April 2017. This year’s rate remains somewhat lower than the transition rate of 1.2% just before the housing crisis struck and well below the peak rate of 2% in November 2008.

The data were reported Monday by CoreLogic in its Loan Performance Insights report. Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30 to 59 days past due, fell in April from 2.2% a year ago to 1.8%. The share of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due in April was 0.6%, 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:

Job growth, home-price appreciation, and full-doc underwriting have pushed delinquency and foreclosure rates to the lowest point in more than a decade. The latest CoreLogic Home Price Index report revealed the annual national home price growth was 7.1 percent in May, the fastest annual growth in four years. U.S. employers have also continued to employ more individuals, as employment rose by 2.4 million throughout the last 12 months with 213,000 jobs added last month alone. Together, this heightened financial stability is pushing delinquency and foreclosure rates to record lows.

Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, added:

Delinquency rates are nearing historic lows, except in areas impacted by extreme weather over the past 18 months, reflecting a long period of strict underwriting practices and improved economic conditions. Last year’s hurricanes and wildfires continue to affect today’s default rates. The percent of loans 90 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure are more than double what they were before last autumn’s hurricanes in Houston, Texas and Naples, Florida. The 90-day-plus delinquent or in-foreclosure rate has also quadrupled in Puerto Rico.”

The states with the lowest 30-plus delinquency rate in April 2018 were Colorado (1.8%), North Dakota (2%), Washington (2.1%) and Montana (2.2%). The 30-plus delinquency rate was highest in Mississippi (7.7%), Louisiana (7.1%) and Florida (7%).

Among the largest U.S. metro areas, the highest 30-plus delinquency rates in April were posted in Miami (8.5%) and Houston (7%). Among these large metro areas, the lowest rates were reported in San Francisco (1.5%) and Denver (1.6%).