As U.S. Delinquency and Foreclosure Rates Fall to Lowest Levels in at Least 18 Years, Some Borrowers Struggle in Natural Disaster Areas

Loan Performance Insights Report Highlights: November 2018

By Molly Boesel Housing Affordability, Mortgage Finance

  • The nation’s overall delinquency rate was 4.1 percent.
  • No states showed an increase in the overall delinquency rate.

In November 2018, 4.1 percent of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency, down from 5.2 percent a year earlier and the lowest for the month of November in at least 18 years[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 November, the share of delinquent mortgages was highest in November 2009, 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 November 2018, down from 2 percent in November 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 0.4 percent in November 2018, down from 0.6 percent a year earlier. The foreclosure rate is the lowest in at least 18 years and is 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 percent in November 2018, down from 2.2 percent in November 2017. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.7 percent in November 2018, down from 0.9 percent in November 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 November the current- to 30-day transition rate remained well below levels during the housing crisis. The November 2018 current- to 30-day rate was 0.9 percent, down from 1 percent a year earlier. The 30- to 60-day transition rate was 15.9 percent in November 2018, down from 23.9 percent in November 2017, while the 60- to 90-day transition rate was 26.2 percent this November, down from 38.1 percent a year earlier.

States with the Highest and Lowest Rate of Mortgages

Figure 2 shows the states with the highest and lowest share of mortgages 30 days or more delinquent. In November 2018, that rate was highest in Mississippi at 8.1 percent and lowest in Colorado at 1.9 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 November 2018 for the 10 largest metro areas.[2] New York metro had the highest rate at 5.5 percent. Miami, with the second-highest rate at 5.4 percent saw a sharp decrease in the overall delinquency rate, falling from 12.7 percent in November 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 10.4 percent in November 2017 to 5.2 percent in November 2018. In the wake of last year’s hurricane season and devastating wildfires some Southeastern metropolitan areas and one Northern California market logged relatively large annual gains in the share of mortgages transitioning from current to 30 days past due. The largest such gain was in the Panama City, Fla., metro where the current-to-30-day transition rate rose 5.2 percentage points in November 2018 compared with 12 months earlier.

[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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