CoreLogic®, a global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report which shows that, nationally, 4.9 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in January 2018. This represents a 0.2 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate, compared with January 2017 when it was 5.1 percent.
As of January 2018, the foreclosure inventory rate—which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process—was 0.6 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from 0.8 percent in January 2017. Since August 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate has been steady at 0.6 percent, the lowest level since June 2007, when it was also 0.6 percent. The January 2018 foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest for the month of January in 11 years; it was also 0.6 percent in January 2007.
Measuring early-stage delinquency rates is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. To monitor mortgage performance comprehensively, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency, as well as transition rates, which indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next.
The rate for early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30-59 days past due, was 2 percent in January 2018, down from 2.3 percent in December 2017 and from 2.1 percent in January 2017. The share of mortgages that were 60-89 days past due in January 2018 was 0.8 percent, unchanged from December 2017 and up from 0.7 percent in January 2017. The serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure, was 2.1 percent in January 2018, unchanged from December 2017 and down from 2.3 percent in January 2017. The January 2018 serious delinquency rate was the lowest for the month of January since January 2007, when it was 1.5 percent.
“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.”
Since early-stage delinquencies can be volatile, CoreLogic also analyzes transition rates. The share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 0.8 percent in January 2018, down from 1.1 percent in December 2017 and down from 0.9 percent in January 2017. This was the lowest for the month of January since at least 2000. By comparison, in January 2007, just before the start of the financial crisis, the current- to 30-day transition rate was 1.2 percent, while it peaked in November 2008 at 2 percent.
“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.”