Delinquency Rates, Foreclosures Dip to Historic Lows

The national delinquency rate has hit its lowest point in 11 years, according to the First Look report issued by Black Knight Financial Services on Friday. The rate dropped 14 percent from February to March and 11 percent over the year, hitting 3.62 percent.

The First Look report, which offers a quick glance at month-end mortgage performance stats across the nation, also showed that total non-current inventory—that is, all inventory under foreclosure or 30 or more days delinquent—also hit a historic low, dipping under 2.3 million for the first time in 11 years. Overall inventory of loans in active foreclosure dropped below 450,000, the first time it’s done so in a decade.

Prepay speeds jumped 20 percent for the month. Though prepayments are generally a good indicator of refinancing activity, according to Black Knight, any optimism about the refi market should be tempered.

“That’s a good bump,” Black Knight’s release stated, “but it comes from a multi-year low, and prepay activity was still 26 percent below last March’s.”

Foreclosure starts rose 4 percent over February to 60,300, but over the year, they actually declined 17 percent. The total foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate for March was 0.88 percent, nearly 5 percent lower than February and 29 percent lower than the same time in 2016.

There are currently 1.8 million properties that are 30 or more days past due, and about 600,000 that are 90 or more days delinquent. Delinquencies were highest in Mississippi, where 9.7 percent of properties weren’t current on their mortgages. Rounding out the top five were Louisiana (8.46 percent), Alabama (6.87 percent), New Jersey (6.64 percent), and West Virginia (6.56 percent).

Delinquency rates were lowest in Idaho (2.63 percent), Montana (2.57 percent), Minnesota (2.36 percent), North Dakota (2.09 percent), and Colorado (2.06 percent.) States to see the most improvement in delinquencies were New Jersey, Louisiana, Washington, Nebraska, and Michigan. States with the most deterioration in non-current loans were North Dakota, Hawaii, Alaska, South Dakota, and Maine.

Black Knight will release more in-depth data from March when it releases its Mortgage Monitor report on May 1.

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