Mortgages Recorded Another Drop in Delinquencies in March 2020

Loan Performance Insights Report Highlights: March 2020

By Molly Boesel Mortgage Finance

  • The nation’s overall delinquency rate was 3.6% in March.
  • The serious delinquency rate and the foreclosure rate have flattened out at low levels.

In March 2020, 3.6% of home mortgages were in some stage of delinquency[1], down from 4% a year earlier and the lowest for the month of March in more than 21 years[2], 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 March historically, the share of delinquent mortgages peaked in 2010 at 11.1%. Mortgage delinquencies started the year off at very low levels, but the unemployment rate spiked in April and remained in double-digits in May, which will lead to an increase in delinquencies in months to come.

The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.2% in March 2020, down from 1.4% in March 2019. For the third consecutive month, the serious delinquency remained at its lowest level since June 2000.  The foreclosure inventory rate – the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – was 0.4% in March 2020, unchanged from a year earlier. March’s foreclosure rate was the lowest for that month in at least 21 years, a rate which has stayed constant since November 2018.

The share of mortgages that were 30 to 59 days past due – considered early-stage delinquencies – was 1.9% in March 2020, down from 2% in March 2019. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.6% in March 2020, unchanged from March 2019.

Figure 1: 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). The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due increased to 1% in March—the highest March reading in seven years—but remained below the 20-year average of 1.3%.

Figure 2: 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 March 2020, that rate was highest in Mississippi at 7% and lowest in Colorado at 1.7%.  Only one state (Alaska +0.1 percentage point) posted an annual gain in its overall delinquency rate in March 2020. The states that logged the largest annual decreases included Mississippi (-1.2 percentage points) and Alabama (-1 percentage point).

Figure 3: 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 March 2020 for 10 large metropolitan areas.[3] Miami had the highest rate at 5.2%. San Francisco had the lowest rate at 1.4%.

Outside of the largest 10, 12 metropolitan areas recorded increases in overall delinquency rates and four recorded increases in serious delinquency rates. Enid, Oklahoma had the largest increase with a 0.6 percentage point jump in the overall delinquency rate and a 0.3 percentage point increase in the serious delinquency rate.

© 2020 CoreLogic, Inc. All rights reserved.

[1] Data in this report is provided by TrueStandings Servicing.

[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.