Properties in default are at their lowest since 2005: Black Knight

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The number of properties in some stage of mortgage default has fallen to its lowest level in approximately 14 years as most types of delinquencies have declined, according to Black Knight.

All told, the total number of loans with borrowers who are not current on their mortgage, including those in the foreclosure process, was at its lowest level since 2005 in May at 2.015 million. That number was down 57,000 from one month prior and down 156,000 units from a year ago.

In addition, May's national delinquency rate of 3.36% was the lowest since Black Knight started tracking this data in 2000 and down 11 basis points from the previous month's low point of 3.47%. In May 2018, the delinquency rate was 3.64%.

There were 1.7 million loans where borrowers were 30 days or more late on their payment, but which were not yet in foreclosure in May, down by 52,000 from April and 107,000 from May 2018.

Meanwhile, loans 90 days or more late, but not in foreclosure, fell to 461,000. That number was down 13,000 from April and 107,000 less than in May the year before.

Black Knight rounds its loan-count numbers to the nearest 1,000. Its 30-day-late numbers also include a 4,100-unit increase in the number of loans 60 days or more with missed payments.

There were 39,000 foreclosure starts during May, the fewest in any month in more than 18 years, Black Knight said. That was down 5.8% from April and 13.14% from May 2018.

The number of properties in the foreclosure presale inventory totaled 255,000, down 4,000 from April and 48.000 from one year ago. This is a 13-year low, Black Knight noted.

Meanwhile, the mortgage prepayment rate doubled over the past four months. The acceleration was driven by refinancing and existing homeowners taking advantage of lower rates to acquire a new property during the spring purchase season.

May's prepayment rate of 1.23% was up by 24.31% over April and 32.17% from May, Black Knight said.

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