There was a decline in the share of mortgages in some stage of delinquency at the start of 2018.
Figures for January show that 4.9% were at least 30 days past due or in foreclosure, down 0.2 percentage points from January 2017 according to CoreLogic.
There was also a 0.2 percentage point decline in the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process. The 0.6% share was the lowest since June 2007 (also 0.6%).
“Except for the metropolitan areas affected by natural disasters, most of the country has seen delinquency and foreclosure rates move lower over the past year,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Declines in the unemployment rate have supported a rise in income, and home-price growth has built home equity. These two economic forces coupled with high-quality underwriting have lowered overall delinquency rates.”
There had been a rise in delinquencies following hurricanes Irma and Harvey, and the wildfires, which impacted several states in 2017. This eased but was still a factor in the overall rates in January.
Early-stage delinquencies (30-59 days past due) fell to 2% in January from 2.3% in December, and from 2.1% in January 2017. The share of mortgages that were 60-89 days past due in January 2018 was 0.8%, unchanged from December 2017 but up from 0.7% in January 2017.
The serious delinquency rate (90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure) was 2.1% in January, unchanged from December and down from 2.3% in January 2017. The rate was the lowest for the month of January since 2007 when it was 1.5%.
“The areas hit by last year’s hurricanes and wildfires are experiencing the ‘pig in a python’ effect on their local delinquency rates. Early-stage delinquencies have largely dropped back to normal, while serious delinquency remains elevated,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “In hard-hit markets, like the Houston and Naples metro areas, serious delinquency is triple what it was before the hurricanes. And in the San Juan area of Puerto Rico, serious delinquency has quadrupled.”
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