U.S. Delinquency Rates At- Or Near-Record Lows, But Late Payments Spike in Some Hurricane Areas

Loan Performance Insights Report Highlights: October 2018

By Molly Boesel Housing Affordability, Mortgage Finance

  • The nation’s overall delinquency rate was 4.1 percent.
  • The foreclosure inventory rate has flattened out at 0.5 percent, which is below the average of the pre-crisis period.
  • No states showed an increase in the overall delinquency rate.

In October 2018, 4.1 percent of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency, down from 5.1 percent a year earlier and the lowest for the month of October 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 October, the share of delinquent mortgages was highest in October 2010, at 11.5 percent. The share of delinquent mortgages fell below the level from the pre-crisis period (an average of 4.7 percent from 2000 to 2006) starting in March 2018.

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 October 2018, down from 1.9 percent in October 2017. The serious delinquency rate has stood at 1.5 percent since August 2018 and is now back to the average of 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 October 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 1.9 percent in October 2018, down from 2.3 percent in October 2017. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.7 percent in October 2018, down from 0.9 percent in October 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 October the current- to 30-day transition rate remained well below levels during the housing crisis. The October 2018 current- to 30-day rate was 0.8 percent, down from 1.1 percent a year earlier. The 30- to 60-day transition rate was 13.5 percent in October 2018, down from 21.5 percent in October 2017, while the 60- to 90-day transition rate was 24 percent this October, down from 29 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 October 2018, that rate was highest in Mississippi at 8.1 percent and lowest in Colorado at 1.8 percent. No states posted an annual increase in the 30-plus-day delinquency rate, and North Dakota was the only state not showing a decrease.

Percentage of Mortgages At Least 30 Days

Figure 3 shows the 30-plus-day past-due rate for October 2018 for the 10 largest metro areas.[2] New York metro and Miami tied for the highest rate at 5.6 percent. The rate in Miami was down sharply from 12.5 percent in October 2017. San Francisco had the lowest at 1.4 percent. Houston also saw a large year-over-year decreases in the 30-plus-day delinquency rate, falling from 11 percent in October 2017 to 5.3 percent in October 2018. Outside of the largest 10 metro areas, 18 metro areas posted an annual increase in the overall delinquency rate. The largest annual gains in the overall delinquency rate were in areas hit hard by hurricanes: Panama City, Fla. (up 3.1 percentage points), Wilmington, N.C., (up 2.5 percentage points) and Jacksonville, N.C. (up 2.1 percentage points).  

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

[2] The data in this report date back to January 2000.

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