The U.S. mortgage delinquency rate increased slightly in February compared with January, rising to 3.69% of all mortgages, according to Black Knight’s First Look report.
That’s an increase of 3.68% compared with the previous month but down 9.53% compared with February 2018.
It was the first increase in delinquencies for the month of February in 12 years, Black Knight’s data shows.
As of the end of February, there were about 2.019 million homes in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due but not in foreclosure), an increase of about 74,000 compared with January but down by about 179,000 compared with February 2018.
Within that, about 502,000 properties were seriously delinquent (90 days or more past due but not in foreclosure), down about 2,000 compared with the previous month and down about 195,500 compared with a year earlier.
The total foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate was about 0.51%, a decrease of 0.35% compared with January and down 21.28% from February 2018.
As of the end of the month, there were about 264,000 homes in the foreclosure inventory – down about 1,000 from the previous month and down about 67,000 from a year earlier.
There were about 40,400 foreclosure starts in February – a decrease of 19.52% compared with the previous month and down 13.49% compared with February 2018.
The monthly prepayment rate was 0.66%. That’s an increase of 11.10% compared with January but a decrease of 8.75% compared with February 2018.
The prepayment rate hit an 18-year low in January. Black Knight notes that the slight increase in prepayment speeds in February was likely due to the increase in refinance activity driven by the recent decline in 30-year interest rates.