Lowest foreclosure starts on record in February says Black Knight

by Steve Randall23 Mar 2020

February set a new record for foreclosure starts as they tumbled 25% compared to January.

A first look at the month’s mortgage data from Black Knight reveals that the decline was 20% year-over-year and took foreclosure starts to their lowest ever level since the firm began reporting the stats in January 2000.

There was also a decrease in the national foreclosure rate – by 2.54% month-over-month and 11.23% year-over-year. The 0.45% rate was the lowest since 2005 and with 1 basis point of the record low.

The number of homes in the pre-sale inventory fell 7,000 month-over-month and 25,000 year-over-year to a total of 239,000.

Increased delinquencies
There was, however, a slight increase in the national delinquency rate – rising 1.95% from January’s record low. Annually, the delinquency rate was down more than 15%.

A total of 1,737,000 homes were 30 days or more past due but not in foreclosure, up 32,000 month-over-month but down 282,000 from February 2019.

Serious delinquencies (90+ days past due) were down 10,000 month-over-month and 93,000 year-over-year to a total of 409,000.

Prepayment activity rises
Prepayment activity rose by nearly 8% month-over-month as early 2020 rate declines have begun to impact refinance activity.

The monthly prepayment rate was also up 106.6% year-over-year.

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