Overall U.S. Delinquency Rate Holds At Lowest Level in More Than 20 Years

Loan Performance Insights Report Highlights: May 2019

By Andrew LePage Housing Affordability, Mortgage Finance

  • The nation’s overall delinquency rate was 3.6% in May.
  • The foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest for a May in more than 20 years.
  • Delinquencies increased year over year in some Midwestern markets hit by spring floods.

In May 2019, 3.6% of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency[1], down from 4.2% a year earlier, according to the latest CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights Report. The May 2019 rate tied the previous month’s as the lowest for any month in more than 20 years. 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 May historically, the share of delinquent mortgages peaked in 2010 at 11.4%. 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%.

No state logged an annual gain in its overall delinquency rate in May 2019, but 20 metro areas experienced at least a small increase. Some of the largest year-over-year gains were in parts of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois that suffered flood damage this spring.

Current- to 30-Day Transition Rate

The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.3% in May 2019, down from 1.8% in May 2018. The serious delinquency rate for May 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 May 2019, down from 0.5% a year earlier. May’s foreclosure rate tied the prior six months as the lowest for any month in at least 20 years[2] and it 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 May 2019, down from 1.8% in May 2018. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.6% in May 2019, unchanged from May 2018.

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 May 2019 the current- to 30-day transition rate remained well below levels during the housing crisis. The May current- to 30-day rate was 0.8%, unchanged from 0.8% a year earlier. The 30- to 60-day transition rate was 14.6% in May, down from 15.2% in May 2018, while the 60- to 90-day transition rate was 24.0% in May, down from 24.4% 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 May 2019, that rate was highest in Mississippi at 6.9% and lowest in Colorado at 1.6%. In May, all 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 May 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 4.7 percent, saw a sharp decrease in the overall delinquency rate, falling from 7.7 percent in May 2018. San Francisco had the lowest 30-plus-day delinquency rate in May 2019 at 1.2%. Houston also saw a large year-over-year decrease, from 6.6% in May 2018 to 4.4% in May 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.

© 2019 CoreLogic, Inc. All rights reserved.