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Foreclosure Starts and Completions Hit 17-Year Lows

delinquent-noticeMortgage delinquencies hit a 23-month high as 2017 wrapped up, surging by 164,000 year-over-year, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor Report from the Data and Analytics Division of Black Knight, Inc. However, that figure only tells part of the story.

Outside of hurricane-affected areas, Black Knight reports that the national mortgage delinquency rate was actually 11 percent below long-term norms. In these same areas, the total number of past-due or in-foreclosure homes dropped by more than 140,000 as December 2017 wrapped up.

“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma significantly impacted 2017 mortgage performance metrics,” said Black Knight Data and Analytics EVP Ben Graboske. “[However] when Black Knight isolated non-hurricane-impacted areas—which represent 90 percent of the entire active U.S. mortgage universe—we see the national delinquency rate actually fell to 11 percent below long-term norms. … Due to the various foreclosure moratoria put into place after the storms, there was no hurricane impact to speak of in that regard. In fact, the improvement in foreclosure inventory—which continued unabated in 2017—may have actually received a short-term boost from the moratoria.”

Last year also saw the fewest foreclosure starts nationwide of any year since 2000, with the annual total sitting at 649,000. The year also saw first-time foreclosure starts drop to 15 percent below the 2016 totals, putting them around half of the average before the housing crisis.

Total foreclosure sales for 2017 hit 232,000, the lowest single-year total since the turn of the century, according to Black Knight. However, there are still more than 125,000 active foreclosures in which no payments have been made for more than two years. If you ramp that timeline up to five years or more, the total drops to 63,000.

The total U.S. loan delinquency rate as of December 2017 was 4.71 percent, and the month-over-month change in delinquency rate was 3.47 percent. The total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate for the month was 0.65 percent, and the month-over-month change in such was -2.22 percent.

You can read Black Knight’s full December 2017 Mortgage Monitor Report by clicking here.

About Author: David Wharton

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