Mortgage Delinquencies on the Rise in 8 U.S. States

Mortgage Delinquencies on the Rise in 8 U.S. States

Residential News » Irvine Edition | By Monsef Rachid | September 10, 2019 8:13 AM ET

While National Rate Remains at 20-Year Low 

According to CoreLogic's latest monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, on a national basis 4% of U.S. mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in June 2019, representing a 0.3 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with June 2018, when it was 4.3%.

As of June 2019, the foreclosure inventory rate - which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process - was 0.4%, down 0.1 percentage points from June 2018. The June 2019 foreclosure inventory rate tied the prior seven months as the lowest for any month since at least January 1999.

Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To monitor mortgage performance comprehensively, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency, as well as transition rates, which indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next.

The rate for early-stage delinquencies - defined as 30 to 59 days past due - was 2.1% in June 2019, up from 2% in June 2018. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due in June 2019 was 0.6%, unchanged from June 2018. The serious delinquency rate - defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure - was 1.3% in June 2019, down from 1.7% in June 2018. June's serious delinquency rate of 1.3% was the lowest for the month of June since 2005 when it was also 1.3%; it tied the April and May 2019 rates as the lowest for any month since it was also 1.3% in August 2005.

Since early-stage delinquencies can be volatile, CoreLogic also analyzes transition rates. The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 1.1% in June 2019, up from 0.9% in June 2018. By comparison, in January 2007, just before the start of the financial crisis, the current-to-30-day transition rate was 1.2% and peaked at 2% in November 2008.

"A strong economy and eight-plus years of home price growth have made mortgage foreclosure an infrequent event," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. "This backdrop will help the mortgage market limit delinquencies in most of the country whenever a downturn should start."

The nation's overall delinquency remains near the lowest level since at least 1999. However, several states and metropolitan areas posted small annual increases in June. The highest gains were in Vermont (+0.7%), New Hampshire (+0.3%), Nebraska (+0.2%) and Minnesota (0.2%), while the other four states - Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin and Connecticut - experienced a nominal gain of just 0.1%.

Some metropolitan areas also recorded small increases in overall delinquency rates. Metros with the largest increases were Janesville-Beloit, Wisconsin (+2.5 percentage points) and Pine Bluff, Arkansas (+1.6 percentage points). Panama City, Florida; Altoona, Pennsylvania; and Kokomo, Indiana all experienced increases of 0.6 percentage points.

"While the nation continues to post near-record-low mortgage delinquency rates, we are seeing signs of emerging stress in some states," said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "We saw rates jump in states such as Vermont, New Hampshire, Nebraska and Minnesota that weren't tied to a natural disaster."

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