CoreLogic: Declining Foreclosure Rates Signal Strong Economy

Despite the devastating 2017 hurricanes, CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., said the national mortgage delinquency rate fell year over year and fell again month over month.

The company’s monthly Loan Performance Report said nationally, 4.8 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in February, an 0.2 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate, compared to 5 percent in January.

The foreclosure inventory rate fell to 0.6 percent in February, down 0.2 percentage points from 0.8 percent a year ago. Since August 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate has been steady at 0.6 percent, the lowest level since June 2007. The February foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest for the month of February in 11 years; it was also 0.6 percent in February 2007.

The report said the rate for early-stage delinquencies, defined as 30-59 days past due, rose slightly to 2.1 percent in February, up from 2 percent in January and unchanged from a year ago. The share of mortgages 60-89 days past due in February was 0.7 percent, down from 0.8 percent in January and unchanged 0.7 percent a year ago. The serious delinquency rate was unchanged at 2.1 percent in February and down from 2.2 percent in February 2017. The February serious delinquency rate was the lowest for a February since 2007, when it was 1.6 percent.

“Last year’s hurricanes continue to have an effect on loan performance in affected markets, showing up in statewide data,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. “Serious delinquency rates in February were 50 percent higher than in August 2017 in Texas, and nearly double in Florida, even though the wind and flood damage was primarily in coastal markets. In Puerto Rico, the damage was widespread. Serious delinquency rates were up five-fold over the August-to-February period, with a significant increase in all metropolitan areas there.”