About 4% of mortgages nationally were in some stage of delinquency in March – the lowest mortgage delinquency rate in 13 years – according to CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights Report.
That’s down 0.3% compared with March 2018, when the national rate was 4.3%.
As of March, the national mortgage delinquency rate had fallen for 15 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis.
Early-stage delinquencies (30 to 59 days past due) represented 2% of all loans nationally in March, up from 1.8% in March 2018.
About 0.6% of mortgages were 60 to 89 days past due, unchanged compared with March 2018.
The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.4%, down from 1.9% a year earlier.
It was the lowest serious delinquency rate for the month of March since 2006, CoreLogic says.
The foreclosure inventory rate – which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process – was 0.4%, down 0.2 percentage points from March 2018.
It was 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.
Although the delinquency rate fell on a national scale, 21 states did experience a slight increase in the overall delinquency rate in March. 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 other 19 states experienced annual gains of 0.1 or 0.2 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,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, in a statement. “A strong economy, labor market and record levels of home equity should limit delinquencies from progressing to later stages.”
CoreLogic notes that some areas in the Southeast and California that were impacted by last year’s hurricanes and wildfires continue to log relatively high delinquency rates.
“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 mid-west or a severe Atlantic hurricane and/or wildfire season on the coasts,” says Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic.