Home Mortgage Delinquencies Soar to a 4-Year High

The share of home mortgage loan payments that are 30 days or more past due jumped to 6.1% in April, ending a streak of 27 months of declining year-over-year delinquencies. Month over month, the overall delinquency rate increased by 2.5 percentage points, the same as the year-over-year increase. The foreclosure inventory rate fell from 0.4% to 0.3% year over year, the lowest rate since at least January 1999.

The foreclosure rate remains below the average pre-crisis level of 0.6%. Since March of 2018, the overall delinquency rate in each month has been lower than it was in the pre-housing-crisis period between 2000 and 2006, when the average was 4.7%.

CoreLogic reported the data Tuesday morning in its Loan Performance Insights report for April. Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30 to 59 days past due, rose by 1.5 points year over year to 4.2% year over year in the month. The share of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due in April was 0.7%, up by 0.1 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.

The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due reached 3.4% in April, a jump of 2.7 percentage points compared to a year ago. This April transition rate is the highest CoreLogic has recorded since 1999. The prior peak was 2.0% recorded in November 2008 at the beginning of the housing crisis.

Serious delinquency rates (defined as 90 days or more past due) fell from 1.3% in April 2019 to 1.2% this past April, the fifth consecutive month the rate has been at this low a level since June 2000. Serious delinquency rates declined in 48 states during the month, with only Alaska and Colorado posting small gains.

Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, added:

Despite the scale and suddenness of the pandemic, mortgage delinquency has yet to emerge as a major issue, thanks to government COVID-19 relief programs and other housing finance industry efforts. As the true impact of the economic shutdown during the second quarter of 2020 becomes clearer, we can expect to see a rise in delinquencies in the next 12-18 months — especially as forbearance periods under the CARES Act come to a close.

Mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed-rate loan were 2.93% on Tuesday, slightly higher than last week’s 52-week low of 2.91%.

Among the nation’s largest cities, Miami (11.5%) and New York (about 10.2%) have the highest rate of mortgages at least 30 days past due. Denver had the lowest rate at 3.7%.

The states with the highest rates of mortgages at least 30 days past due are New York, Louisiana, New Jersey, Mississippi and Connecticut, all with rates of at least 8%, compared to the national average of 6.1%. The states with the lowest rates of mortgages at least 30 days past due are South Dakota, Idaho, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Iowa, all with rates of less than 4%.

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