Good news for homeowners with mortgages: the number of people who are falling delinquent on their mortgage payments keeps getting lower, according to a new report published today by CoreLogic.
Overall, mortgage delinquencies fell a 0.6 percentage point year over year in April to 4.2 percent, from 4.8 percent in April 2017. When compared to the month prior — March 2018 — delinquency rates are also down a 0.1 percentage point.
These numbers keep up a welcome downward trend — fewer and fewer people are not able to make the monthly payments on their mortgage and are now well below the height of the financial crisis of 2007-2008.
There was also positive news for foreclosure rates, in which the government seizes property due to the owner’s inability to make payments. At a steady 0.6 percent since August 2017, this rate is the lowest it’s been since it was also 0.6 percent in June 2007.
“Job growth, home-price appreciation and full-doc underwriting have pushed delinquency and foreclosure rates to the lowest point in more than a decade,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement.
“Together, this heightened financial stability is pushing delinquency and foreclosure rates to record lows.”
While even early-stage delinquencies (in which a mortgage payment is late by 30 to 59 days) were down to 1.8 percent from 2.2 percent compared to April 2017, some pockets of the country still struggled more than others.
The states with the highest 30-day mortgage delinquency rates in April 2018 were Mississippi (7.7 percent), Louisiana, Florida, New York and Alabama. The states with the lowest 30-day delinquency rates were Colorado (1.8 percent), North Dakota, Washington, Montana and Oregon.
In past reports, CoreLogic specified that major natural disasters such as the hurricanes that hit U.S. coastal areas last summer, often leave homeowners scrambling to figure out whether to sell, repair the damage or try to use their insurance to claim some of the damages.
Unsurprisingly, states that were hit hard by hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017 — namely, Florida and Texas — were the only ones that saw gains in 90-day delinquency rates month to month, from 2.8 percent to 4.3 percent and 1.7 percent to 2.2 percent, respectively. In Puerto Rico, the 90-day delinquency rate quadrupled.
“Delinquency rates are nearing historic lows, except in areas impacted by extreme weather over the past 18 months, reflecting a long period of strict underwriting practices and improved economic conditions,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, in a statement. “Last year’s hurricanes and wildfires continue to affect today’s default rates.”
However, there was a bright spot for Texas, which saw overall delinquencies fall a 0.1 percentage point year over year, showing a general recovery from the devastating Hurricane Harvey.