The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate inched up 1.95% in February compared with January but was down about 15% compared with February 2019, according to Black Knight’s First Look report.
As of February about 1.737 million properties were delinquent (30 days or more past due), an increase of about 32,000 compared with the previous month but down about 282,000 compared with a year earlier.
There were about 409,000 serious delinquencies (90 days or more past due) in February, down about 10,000 compared with January and down about 93,000 compared with February 2019.
The pre-sale foreclosure inventory rate, at 0.45%, was down 2.54% compared with the previous month and down 11.23% compared with a year ago.
The foreclosure rate in February was the lowest it’s been since 2005, and within one basis point of an all-time low, Black Knight says.
There were about 32,300 foreclosure starts in February, down 24.5% compared with January and down 20% compared with February 2019.
That’s the lowest number of foreclosure starts for any month since Black Knight began publicly reporting the metric in January 2000.
The monthly prepayment rate was 1.35%, an increase of 7.78% compared with the previous month and up 106% compared with a year earlier.
Black Knight says the month-over-month increase in the prepayment rate was due to falling mortgage rates in January and February, which had begun to impact refinance activity.