Mortgage Delinquencies Continue at Record Low Rates

The share of home mortgage loan payments that are 30 days or more past due remained unchanged month over month in November at 4.1% and down from 5.2% in November 2017, matching the lowest total for the month in 18 years. The foreclosure inventory rate fell from 0.6% to 0.4% in the same period.

The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 0.9% in November 2018, down by 0.1 percentage points year over year. The 2018 rate has moved significantly below 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 Tuesday by CoreLogic in its Loan Performance Insights report. Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30 to 59 days past due, declined from 2.2% to 2.0% year over year in November. The share of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due in November was 0.7%, down by 0.2 points compared with last year’s rate. According to CoreLogic, measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market.

Serious delinquency rates (defined as 90 days or more past due) fell in all 50 states. A total of seven U.S. metro areas posted a year-over-year increase in the serious delinquency rate while 18 posted no change and the rest posted decreases.

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

Solid income growth, a record amount of home equity and an absence of high-risk loan products put the U.S. homeowner on solid ground. All of this has helped push delinquency and foreclosure rates to the lowest levels in almost two decades, and will provide a cushion if the housing market should turn down.

Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, added:

On a national basis, we continue to see strong loan performance. Areas that were impacted by hurricanes or wildfires in 2018 are now seeing relatively large annual gains in the share of mortgages moving into 30-day delinquency. As with previous disasters, this is to be expected, and we will see the impacts dissipate over time.

The foreclosure inventory dropped from 0.6% of all mortgaged properties in November 2017 to 0.4% in November 2018.