Mortgage delinquency rates have declined on a national level, as reported by the monthly Loan Performance Insights Report published by CoreLogic. However, despite the national decrease, Florida residents have seen an increase, which is attributed mostly to Hurricane Irma and the 2017 hurricane season.
According to CoreLogic’s report, as of April 2018, 4.2 percent of mortgages nationwide are in some stage of delinquency. A delinquency means that the mortgage is 30 days or more past due and includes those mortgages that are already in foreclosure. This number shows a 0.6 percentage point decrease in the overall delinquency rate as compared in April 2017. At that time, the percentage was at 4.8 percent.
The report also provided information on the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages that are in some stage of the process of foreclosure. The rate as of April 2018 was at 0.6 percent, which is down 0.1 percentage points from where it was in April 2017. The foreclosure inventory rate has been steady at the rate of 0.6 percent, which is the lowest rate that has been reported since June 2007, when the rate was last reported at 0.6 percent. The April 2018 rate is the lowest that it has been in the past 11 years.
The purpose of measuring delinquency rates during the early stage of the process helps in analyzing the health of the mortgage market. CoreLogic’s report looks at all stages of mortgage delinquency and transition rates, including the percentage of mortgages that are reported as moving from one stage of delinquency to the next step in the process.
Early stage delinquency occurs when a mortgage payment is 30 days to 59 days past due. This early-stage delinquency was reported at being at 2.2 percent in April 2017 and was reported at 1.8 percent in April 2018. The figures in the early-stage delinquency category can be volatile, so it is for this reason that CoreLogic looks at the transition rates, meaning the number of mortgages that transition to the next stage. The transition rates for mortgages reported in the early-stage to later stage went down from 1.2 percent in April 2017 to 0.8 percent in April 2018. To provide some perspective, at the start of the financial crisis the early-stage delinquency transition rate was at 1.2 percent in January 2007 and 2 percent in November 2008.
The percentage of mortgages at the 60 to 89 days past due remained the same during this time. The mortgages that were reported in the serious delinquency stage at more than 90 days past due were down from 2.0 percent in April 2017 to 1.9 percent in April 2018. It should be noted that this is the lowest the serious delinquency rate has been since 2007 when it was reported at 1.6 percent.
However, despite these decreasing numbers, two states were reported as showing significant gains in the serious delinquency stage. These two states, Florida and Texas, were showing serious negative effects from the 2017 hurricane season. Of the two states, Florida has the most densely populated areas and the longest coastal area. This long coast leads to more exposure to storm surge flooding, putting almost 2.7 million homes at risk during hurricane season. After Florida, Louisiana is second to Florida with 817,000 homes in the “at-risk” area. Texas is right behind in third with 543,000 at-risk homes. Of these three states, Florida and Texas are the ones currently still struggling following Hurricanes Irma and Harvey which hit in 2017. Both states are finding themselves with higher mortgage default rates due to the natural disasters that have hit those states. The percent of mortgages that are in the serious delinquency category with loans that are 90 days past due are doubled than what they were reported in the previous year. In Puerto Rico, another area hit by hurricanes in 2017, the foreclosure rate or 90-day delinquency rate has quadrupled.
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