CoreLogic: Homeowners Late on Mortgage Payments Down in January

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., said 5.3 percent of mortgages were delinquent by at least 30 days or more (including those in foreclosure) in January, down by 1.1 percentage point from a year ago (6.4 percent).

The company’s monthly Loan Performance Insights Report said the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, fell to 0.8 percent in January compared to 1.1 percent a year ago. The serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure, fell to 2.5 percent, down from 3.2 percent a year ago.

Early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30-59 days past due, trended lower in January as well, to 2.1 percent, compared to 2.4 percent a year ago. The share of mortgages were 60-89 days past due in January fell to 0.7 percent, down from 0.8 percent a year ago.

“Steady job and income growth, combined with full-doc underwriting, has led to low early-stage delinquencies,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “January’s 0.9 percent transition rate for current to 30 days late is lower than a year ago and much lower than the 1.5 percent average from 2000 and 2001, during which the foreclosure rate was, conversely, lower than it is today.”

“The 30-plus delinquency rate, the most comprehensive measure of mortgage performance, is at a 10-year low and rapidly declining,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “While late-stage delinquencies remain in the pipeline in selected markets, early-stage delinquency performance is stellar and the lowest it’s been in two decades. The continued improvement in mortgage performance bodes well for the health of the market in 2017.”