Serious delinquencies, foreclosures at decade low

The recovery of the housing industry is in its “final stages,” says expert

Serious delinquencies, foreclosures at decade low
Serious mortgage delinquency rates are at their lowest levels in a decade, according to new data, and forclosure rates also hit a new low, according to new data.

The foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, was 0.6% in August, according to the latest data from analytics firm CoreLogic. That’s the lowest August foreclosure rate since 2006, when the rate was 0.5%.

The overall delinquency rate (mortgages 30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) was 4.6% in August. That’s down from 5.2% in August of 2016. Early-stage delinquencies (30-59 days past due) represented 2% of all mortgages in August, down from 2.1% last year, according to CoreLogic. The share of mortgages that were 60-89 days past due was 0.7%, unchanged from August of 2016. The serious delinquency rate (mortgages 90 or more days past due) dropped from 2.4% in August of 2016 to 1.9% in August of this year. That’s the lowest serious delinquency rate since October of 2007, when the rate was 1.7%. Alaska was the only state to see a hike in its serious delinquency rate in August, according to CoreLogic.

“The effect of the drop in crude oil prices since 2014 has taken a toll on mortgage loan performance in some markets,” said Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist. “Crude oil prices this August were less than half their level three years ago. This has led to oil-related layoffs and an increase in loan delinquency rates in states like Alaska and in oil-centric metro areas like Houston.”

Still, the overall drop in foreclosures and delinquencies is good news for the mortgage industry, said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

“Serious delinquency and foreclosure rates are at their lowest levels in more than a decade, signaling the final stages of recovery in the US housing market,” Martell said. “As the construction and mortgage industries move forward, there needs to be not only a ramp-up in homebuilding, but also a focus on maintaining prudent underwriting practices to avoid repeating past mistakes.”

Related stories:
Mortgage delinquency rate dips in July
Foreclosures tumble to 11-year low