CoreLogic: Delinquency Rates Up in Natural Disaster Areas; Down Nearly Everywhere Else

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., reported year-over-year U.S. serious delinquency and foreclosure rates fell for the ninth consecutive month and were the lowest for September in 12 years, despite upward spikes in areas affected by recent natural disasters.

The company’s monthly Loan Performance Insights Report said nationally, 4.4 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in September, representing a 0.6 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared from a year ago (5 percent).

The report said the foreclosure inventory rate fell to 0.5 percent in September, down 0.1 percentage point from a year ago, tied with the April, May, June, July and August rates this year as the lowest for any month since September 2006.

CoreLogic said the rate for early-stage delinquencies (30-59 days past due) fell to 2.2 percent in September, down from 2.4 percent a year ago. The share of mortgages 60-89 days past due in September was unchanged at 0.7 percent. The serious delinquency rate (90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure) fell to 1.5 percent in September, down from 1.9 percent a year ago but unchanged from August. This serious delinquency rate was the lowest for September since 2006 when it was 1.4 percent, and was the lowest for any month, prior to August.

The report said the share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due fell to 1.2 percent in September, down from 1.3 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, while it peaked in November 2008 at 2 percent.

However, CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft noted seriously delinquent rates spiked in disaster-hit areas such as Hilo, Hawaii, where the Kilauea volcano eruption took place in May; in California, where the Carr and Camp fires struck; and in North Carolina, where Hurricane Florence reached landfall in September.

“The effects of 2018’s natural disasters have begun to show clearly in our delinquency data,” Nothaft said. “After Kilauea’s eruption began in May, serious delinquency rates jumped on the Big Island by 10 percent between June and September, while falling by 4 percent in the rest of Hawaii. The Carr Fire began late July, and the 30- or 60-day delinquency rate in the Redding metro area jumped 19 percent from August to September. This was the largest monthly spike up in this delinquency metric since July 2006 when the foreclosure crisis was beginning. Additionally, 30-day delinquency rates doubled in major metros in North Carolina in September, the first month after Hurricane Florence reached landfall.”

The report noted Hurricane Florence caused “considerable economic disruption” in September. Seven of the top eight metro areas that experienced highest annual gains in the overall delinquency rate were in North Carolina and South Carolina. In Wilmington, the 30-day delinquency rate jumped from 1.7 percent to 3.8 percent between August and September.