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Delinquencies and foreclosures hit 20-year lows

The nationwide mortgage delinquency rate had its best October in at least two decades, while the foreclosure rate remained at a 20-year for the twelfth straight month, according to CoreLogic.

CoreLogic's Loan Performance Insights Report showed 3.7% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency in October 2019, down from 4.1% the year before.
"Home price growth builds homeowner equity and reduces the likelihood of a loan entering foreclosure," Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a press release. "The national CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a 3.3% annual rise in values through October 2019, and price growth was the primary driver of the $5,300 average gain in equity reported in the latest CoreLogic Home Equity Report."

The foreclosure inventory rate remained at the 20-year low of 0.4%, a hair below October 2018's 0.5%. The serious delinquency rate of loans 90 days or more past due including foreclosures also fell, going to 1.3% from 1.5%.

"National foreclosure and serious delinquency rates have remained fixed at record lows for at least the last six months," said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "However, as markets can be much more volatile at the metro level, both late-stage delinquencies and foreclosures have continued to increase at this level in the Midwest and Southern regions of the country."

Eight metro areas in those regions experienced delinquency increases in October, with Pine Bluff, Ark.'s 1 percentage point jump leading them all. Dubuque, Iowa and Rockford, Ill., followed with increases of 0.2 percentage points.

As for the serious delinquency rate, there were 14 housing markets that grew year-over-year. Panama City, Fla., rose 0.4 percentage points, with Dubuque's 0.2 percentage point increase as the next largest.

Overall delinquency rates showed no increases at the state level, with North Carolina and Mississippi falling the most at 0.9 and 0.8 percentage points, respectively.

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