Roughly 5.3% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency in December 2017, flat compared with December 2016, according to CoreLogic’s monthly Loan Performance Insights Report.
However, there was an increase in early stage delinquencies, which are defined as 30 to 59 days past due. This was a result of the wildfires on the West Coast, which came in October. In addition, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, which struck in August/September, helped boost serious delinquencies in December.
“The wildfires in Sonoma and Napa counties began October 8 and destroyed or damaged thousands of homes. Two- and three-month delinquency rates have spiked in these two counties, more than doubling between October and December,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a release. “The after effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria continue to appear as well. Serious delinquency rates in the Houston and Miami metropolitan areas doubled between September and year-end and quadrupled in the San Juan area of Puerto Rico.”
Beyond the impact of the storms, loan performance continued to improve.
As of December, the foreclosure inventory rate stood at 0.6%, down 0.2 percentage points from 0.8% in December 2016.
Since August 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate has been steady at 0.6%, the lowest level since June 2007, when it was also 0.6%, CoreLogic says.
This past December’s foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest for the month of December in 11 years; it was also 0.6% in December 2006.