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Analysts Report Lowest Serious-Delinquency Rate Since June

For November 2020 the nationwide mortgage overall-delinquency rate was 5.9%. When it comes to serious delinquencies, 90 days or more past due, including foreclosures, which are 0.3%, down from 0.4% in November 2019, November recorded the lowest rate since June 2020, pointing to signs of increasing stabilization, the analysts said.

That is the most recent data from CoreLogic, the property-data analysis company that, monthly, tracks all stages of delinquency as well as transition rates that indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next.

"Urban areas hit hard by the pandemic recession or by a natural disaster experienced the largest spike in delinquency over the last year," CoreLogic's Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. "Forbearance and loan modification helped struggling families rebuild their financial house in hard-hit places. While vaccination will mitigate the pandemic, the best cure for delinquency is income restoration through job creation."

The researchers point out the correlation between the unemployment rate and mortgage delinquencies, noting that households with members in the oil and hospitality industries have been hit especially hard. The unemployment rate fell from 14.8% in April to 6.7% by the end of 2020. However, they add, the recent rebound in employment has helped some struggling homeowners begin to make payments again.

"The consistent decline in serious delinquency since August is a sign of growing financial stability for families," said Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic. "In addition to ensuring that homeowners stay in their homes, the decline in delinquency means fewer distressed sales, which is both a positive for individual households and the overall housing market."

The rate for early-stage delinquencies (30 to 59 days past due) was 1.4%, down from 2% in the same period of 2019. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.6%, unchanged from November 2019.

Every state logged an annual increase in overall delinquency rates in November. Topping the list for gains was Hawaii (up 4.3 percentage points) and Nevada (up 4.2 percentage points).

CoreLogic further breaks down delinquencies regionally on its Insights report for November [1].