CoreLogic: Mortgage Performance Continues Steady Improvement

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., said overall mortgage delinquencies fell below 5 percent in April as mortgage performance continued to show signs of improvement.

The company’s monthly Loan Performance Insights Report said 4.8 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure) in April, down by a half-percentage point from a year ago. Early-stage delinquencies (30-59 days past due) increased to 2.2 percent in April from 2 percent a year ago. The share of mortgages 60-89 days past due in April fell to 0.63 percent, down slightly from 0.64 percent a year ago.

CoreLogic said the foreclosure inventory rate fell to 0.7 percent in April, compared with 1 percent a year ago. The serious delinquency rate (90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure) fell to 2 percent, down from 2.6 percent a year ago.

“The market continues to benefit from improved economic growth and home price increases,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Regionally, with the exception of several energy industry intensive states–Alaska and North Dakota–the rest of the U.S. continues to see improvements in mortgage performance. While overall performance is improving, it reflects the older legacy pipeline of loans that continue to heal, especially in judicial states which typically take longer to clear out.”

The report said share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30-days past due increased slightly to 1.2 percent in April from 1 percent a year ago. By comparison, in January 2007, just before the start of the financial crisis, the current-to-30-day transition rate was 1.2 percent, peaking in November 2008 at 2 percent.

“Delinquency rates are down virtually across the board as the rebound in the U.S. housing market continues to gather steam,” said CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell. “It appears likely that delinquency rates will continue to fall for some time, but at a moderating pace. As we look forward, improved fundamentals provide us with a firm foundation and we must now increase our attention to carefully expand the supply of affordable housing stock and ensure that mortgage lending policies help to prudently promote first-time homeownership.”

The report said Mississippi (8.6 percent) and Louisiana (8.3 percent) had the highest overall delinquency rates in April; North Dakota (2.1 percent) and Colorado (2.3 percent) had the lowest.