Overall U.S. Delinquency Rate Lowest for Month of September in at Least 18 Years

Loan Performance Insights Report Highlights: September 2018

By Molly Boesel Consumer Behavior, Mortgage Finance

  • The nation’s overall delinquency rate was 4.4 percent.
  • Alaska was the only state to show an annual increase in the overall delinquency rate.
  • In the wake of Hurricane Florence, some metro areas in the Carolinas logged annual increases in their overall delinquency rates.

In September 2018, 4.4 percent of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency, down from 5 percent a year earlier and the lowest for the month of September on record[1], according to the latest CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights Report. The measure, also known as the overall delinquency rate, includes all home loans 30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure. For the month of September, the share of delinquent mortgages was highest in September 2010, at 11.3 percent. During the pre-crisis period (2000 to 2006), the share of delinquent mortgages averaged 4.7 percent.

Current to 30 Day Transition Rate

The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.5 percent in September 2018, down from 1.9 percent in September 2017 and unchanged from August 2018. The serious delinquency rates for September and August were the lowest for any month since 2006 and are now back to the pre-crisis level of 1.5 percent.

The foreclosure inventory rate – meaning the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – was 0.5 percent in September 2018, down from 0.6 percent a year earlier. The foreclosure rate is now below the average pre-crisis level of 0.6 percent.

The share of mortgages that were 30 to 59 days past due – considered early-stage delinquencies – was 2.2 percent in September 2018, down from 2.4 percent in September 2017. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.7 percent in September 2018, unchanged from September 2017.

In addition to delinquency rates, CoreLogic tracks the rate at which mortgages transition from one stage of delinquency to the next, such as going from current to 30 days past due. Figure 1 shows that in September the current- to 30-day transition rate remained well below levels during the housing crisis. The September 2018 current- to 30-day rate was 1.2 percent, down from 1.3 percent a year earlier. The 30- to 60-day transition rate was 18.8 percent in September 2018, up from 18.6 percent in September 2017, while the 60- to 90-day transition rate was 29 percent this September, down from 29.4 percent a year earlier.

States With the Highest and Lowest Rate

Figure 2 shows the states with the highest and lowest share of mortgages 30 days or more delinquent. In September 2018, that rate was highest in Mississippi at 8.5 percent and lowest in Colorado at 2 percent. Alaska was the only state to post an annual increase in the 30-plus-day delinquency rate, increasing by 0.1 percentage points.

Percentage of Mortgages at Least 30 Days

Figure 3 shows the 30-plus-day past-due rate for September 2018 for the 10 largest metro areas.[2] Miami had the highest rate at 6.1 percent, down sharply from 9.6 percent in September 2017, while San Francisco had the lowest at 1.6 percent. Houston also saw a large year-over-year decreases in the 30-plus-day delinquency rate, falling from 10.6 percent in September 2017 to 5.7 percent in September 2018. Outside of the largest 10 metro areas, 28 metro areas posted an annual increase in the overall delinquency rate, and seven of the ten areas with the highest annual gains in their overall delinquency rate were in North Carolina and South Carolina, which were affected by Hurricane Florence.

[1] Metro areas used in this report are the ten most populous Core-Based Statistical Areas.

[2] Data for this report starts in January 2000.

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