Economy

Home Mortgage Delinquencies Decline Slightly but Remain High in June

The share of home mortgage loan payments that are 30 days or more past due declined slightly to 7.1% in June, reversing a rise of 1.6 percentage points posted in May. Month over month, the overall delinquency rate dropped from 7.3%, while the rate rose by 3.1% year over year. The foreclosure inventory rate fell from 0.4% to 0.3% year over year, equal to 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 in its Loan Performance Insights report for June, published Wednesday morning. Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30 to 59 days past due, slipped by 0.3 points year over year to 1.8% year over year in the month. The share of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due in June jumped from 0.6% a year ago to 1.8%. 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 1% in June, a decrease of 0.1 percentage points compared to a year ago. Last month’s transition rate was the highest CoreLogic has recorded since the prior peak of 2.0% was recorded in November 2008, at the beginning of the housing crisis.

Serious delinquency rates (defined as 90 days or more past due) soared from 1.3% in June 2019 to 3.4% this past June, more than doubling month over month and reaching the highest level since February 2015. Serious delinquency rates rose in all 50 states during the month, with New Jersey (3.7 points), New York (3.6 points) and Nevada (3.4 points) posting the largest gains.

Noting that forbearance had been “an important tool” to help homeowners through the pandemic, Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, commented, “While federal and state governments work toward additional economic support, we expect serious delinquencies will continue to rise — particularly among lower-income households, small business owners and employees within sectors like tourism that have been hard hit by the pandemic.”

Among the nation’s largest cities, Miami (13.49%) and New York (12.1%) have the highest rate of mortgages at least 30 days past due. San Francisco had the lowest rate at 4.7%.

The states with the highest rates of mortgages at least 30 days past due are New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida, all with rates at around 10% or more, compared to the national average of around 7.5%. The states with the lowest rates of mortgages at least 30 days past due are Idaho, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Montana, all with rates of less than 4.3%.

Built-up stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about the return of zombie foreclosures.