How Low Can It Go? Overall Delinquency Rate Lowest in More Than 20 Years

Loan Performance Insights Report Highlights: April 2019

By Molly Boesel Housing Affordability, Mortgage Finance

  • The nation’s overall delinquency rate was 3.6% in April.
  • The foreclosure inventory rate for April was 0.4%, where it has stood for the past six months.

In April 2019, 3.6% of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency[1], down from 4.3% a year earlier and the lowest for any month in more than 20 years, 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 April historically, the share of delinquent mortgages peaked in 2010 at 11%. Since March 2018 the overall delinquency rate each month has been lower than during the pre-crisis period of 2000 through 2006, when the rate averaged 4.7%.

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. The serious delinquency rate for April was below the average of 1.5% for the 2000 – 2006 pre-crisis period. The foreclosure inventory rate – meaning the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – was 0.4% in April 2019, down from 0.5% a year earlier. April’s foreclosure rate was the lowest for that month in at least 20 years[2] and was below the average pre-crisis level of 0.6%. Rising home prices have led to record amounts of home equity, reducing the risk of foreclosure.

The share of mortgages that were 30 to 59 days past due – considered early-stage delinquencies – was 1.7% in April 2019, down from 1.8% in April 2018. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.6% in April 2019, unchanged from April 2018.

Current to 30 Day Transition Rate

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 April 2019 the current- to 30-day transition rate remained well below levels during the housing crisis. The April current- to 30-day rate was 0.7%, down from 0.8% a year earlier. The 30- to 60-day transition rate was 13.3% in April, down from 14.8% in April 2018, while the 60- to 90-day transition rate was 22.8% in April, down from 24.1% a year earlier. 

States with the Highest and Lowest Rate of Mortgages at Least 30 Days Past Due

Figure 2 shows the states with the highest and lowest share of mortgages 30 days or more delinquent. In April 2019, that rate was highest in Mississippi at 6.9% and lowest in Colorado at 1.6%. In April, Nebraska's 3% overall delinquency rate was the same as a year earlier, while all other states logged at least a small year-over-year decline in their overall delinquency rate.

Percentage of Mortgages at Least 30 Days Past Due For the Ten Largest Metropolian Areas

Figure 3 shows the 30-plus-day past-due rate for April 2019 for the 10 largest metropolitan areas.[3] The New York metro had the highest rate at 4.9%. Miami, with the second-highest rate at 4.8 percent, saw a sharp decrease in the overall delinquency rate, falling from 8.4 percent in April 2018. San Francisco had the lowest 30-plus-day delinquency rate in April 2019 at 1.3%. Houston also saw a large year-over-year decrease, from 7% in April 2018 to 4.5% in April 2019.

[1] Data in this report is provided by TrueStanding Servicing.  https://www.corelogic.com/products/truestandings-servicing.aspx

[2] The data in this report date back to January 1999.

[3] Metropolitan areas used in this report are the ten most populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The report uses Metropolitan Divisions where available.

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