April’s Delinquency Rate Hits Lowest Point in 20 Years
IRVINE, Calif. – CoreLogic’s monthly Loan Performance Insights Report for April found that 3.6% of the nation’s mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in April 2019 – a 0.7 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with April 2018, when it was 4.3%.
It’s the lowest delinquency rate for any month in more than 20 years.
The foreclosure inventory rate measures only the share of homes in the foreclosure process and doesn’t include those that are late on a mortgage payment but not yet in foreclosure. This share of mortgages was 0.4%, down 0.1 percentage points from April 2018. The April 2019 foreclosure inventory rate tied the prior five 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 (30 to 59 days past due) was 1.7% in April 2019, down from 1.8% in April 2018. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due in April 2019 was 0.6%, unchanged from April 2018.
The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.3% in April 2019, down from 1.9% in April 2018. April’s serious delinquency rate of 1.3% was the lowest for any month since August 2005 when it was also 1.3%.
The nation’s overall delinquency rate has fallen on a year-over-year basis for the past 16 consecutive months. In April, Nebraska’s overall delinquency rate was unchanged from a year earlier and all other states posted at least a small annual decline.
“Thanks to a 50-year low in unemployment, rising home prices and responsible underwriting, the U.S. overall delinquency rate is the lowest in more than 20 years,” says Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “However, a number of metros that suffered a natural disaster or economic decline contradict this national trend. For example, in the wake of the 2018 California Camp Fire, the serious delinquency rate in the Chico, California metro area this April was 21% higher than one year ago.”
In April 2019, 10 metropolitan areas logged an increase in the serious delinquency rate. The highest gains continue to plague the hurricane-ravaged parts of the Southeast (in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina), and in Northern California where the Camp Fire devastated communities in 2018.
“The U.S. has experienced 16 consecutive months of falling overall delinquency rates, but it has not been a steady decline across all areas of the country,” says Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Recent flooding in the Midwest could elevate delinquency rates in hard-hit areas, similar to what we see after a hurricane.”
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