U.S. Foreclosure Rate Hits 20-Year Low

According to CoreLogic’s latest monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, 4% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in March 2019.  This represents a 0.3-percentage-point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with March 2018, when it was 4.3%. This was the lowest for the month of March in 13 years.

As of March 2019, the foreclosure inventory rate was 0.4%, down 0.2 percentage points from March 2018. March 2019 marked the fifth consecutive month that the foreclosure inventory rate remained at 0.4% and was the lowest for any month since at least January 1999.

The rate for early-stage delinquencies (30 to 59 days past due) was 2% in March 2019, up from 1.8% in March 2018. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due in March 2019 was 0.6%, unchanged from March 2018. The serious delinquency rate (90 days or more past due including loans foreclosure) was 1.4% in March 2019, down from 1.9% in March 2018. The serious delinquency rate of 1.4% this March was the lowest for that month since 2006 when it was also 1.4%.

The nation’s overall delinquency rate has fallen on a year-over-year basis for the past 15 consecutive months. However, 21 states did experience a slight increase in the overall delinquency rate in March 2019. Mississippi had the nation’s highest overall delinquency rate at 8.2%, a 0.5-percentage-point gain from March 2018, while Alabama’s gain was 0.3 percentage points.

“The increase in the overall delinquency rate in 42% of states most likely indicates many Americans were caught off guard by their expenses in early 2019,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “A strong economy, labor market and record levels of home equity should limit delinquencies from progressing to later stages.”

“Delinquency rates and foreclosures continue to drop through March and should decline further in the months ahead barring any serious dislocations from recent flooding in the Midwest or a severe Atlantic hurricane and/or wildfire season on the coasts,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

Source: CoreLogic