The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate hit the lowest level in at least 20 years in August, according to CoreLogic.
Roughly 3.7% of all mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure), a decrease of 0.2 percentage points compared with with August 2018, when it was 3.9%.
The rate for early-stage delinquencies – defined as 30 to 59 days past due – was 1.8%, unchanged compared with August 2018.
The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.6%, also unchanged compared with August 2018.
The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.3%, down from 1.5% in August 2018.
That’s the lowest serious delinquency rate for the month of August since 2005, when it was also 1.3%.
The serious delinquency rate has remained consistent since April, CoreLogic reports.
Only five states saw their overall delinquency rates increase on an annual basis, including Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.
All posted only small annual gains in their overall delinquency rates.
The foreclosure inventory rate – which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – was 0.4%, down 0.1 percentage points compared with August 2018.
That’s the lowest since January 1999. It was the 10th consecutive month that the U.S. foreclosure rate was the lowest in at least 20 years.
“Job loss can trigger a loan delinquency, especially for families with limited savings,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “The rise in overall delinquency in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin coincided with a rise in state unemployment rates between August 2018 and August 2019.”
“Delinquency rates are at 14-year lows, reflecting a decade of tight underwriting standards, the benefits of prolonged low interest rates and the improved balance sheets of many households across the country,” adds Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Despite this month’s near record-low serious delinquency rate, several metros in hurricane-ravaged areas of the Southeast have experienced higher delinquency rates of late. We expect to see these metros to return to pre-disaster delinquency rates over the next several months.”