Mortgage delinquencies go against historical trends in February

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While fading 9.53% annually, February mortgage delinquencies posted a month-over-month increase for the first time in 12 years, according to Black Knight.

Overall, the national rate stood at 3.89%, a gain of 3.68% from January to February. At the state level, Mississippi had the highest non-current loan percentage with 10.16%. Louisiana's 8.27% and Alabama's 6.98% followed. Conversely, Colorado's 2.01%, Oregon's 2.23% and Washington's 2.3% all had the lowest shares of delinquency.

February and March usually set the bar for the entire year for loan performance as tax refunds typically roll in for borrowers. Perhaps this season's returns weren't as lucrative or capital was placed elsewhere.

The monthly prepayment rate dropped 8.75% year-over-year to a rate of 0.66%, coming up 11.1% from January’s 18-year low. Normally, housing turnover hits its annual nadir during the year's opening two months and pulls prepayments down with it. However, the month-over-month rise correlates with bolstered refinancing activity caused by the recently decreasing 30-year interest rates.

Foreclosures continued to fade in February. Foreclosure starts decreased 13.49% from the year before and 19.52% from January. The 40,400 total starts approached the 15-year low of 40,000 in September 2018. The number of mortgages in active foreclosure totaled 264,000 in February, a decrease of 67,000 from the year prior and an edge down of 1,000 from the month earlier.

The total foreclosure presale inventory rate fell 21.28% from the year prior and 0.35% from January to a rate of 0.51%. Foreclosure sales — as a percentage of loans 90 or more days delinquent — settled at 1.48%, growing 5.76% year-over-year while plummeting 23.35% month-over-month.

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