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Delinquencies at Lowest Levels Since Pandemic Start


foreclosureAccording to CoreLogic [1], for the month of January, 5.6% of all mortgages in the U.S. were in some stage of delinquency (defined as 30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure), a 2.1-percentage point increase year-over-year. Nationally, the overall delinquency has been declining month-to-month since August 2020.

“While delinquency rates are higher than we would like to see, they continue to decline,” said Frank Martell [2], President and CEO of CoreLogic. “At the same time, foreclosure rates remain at historic lows. This is a good sign, and considering the improving picture regarding the pandemic and climbing employment rates [3], we are looking at the potential for a strong year of recovery [4]."

In terms of stages of delinquencies, Early-Stage Delinquencies (30 to 59 days past due) stood at 1.3% in January, down 1.7% year-over-year. Adverse Delinquencies (60 to 89 days past due) stood at 0.5% in January, down from 0.6% year-over-year. Serious Delinquencies, defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure, were at 3.8% in January, up from 1.2% in January 2020. The Foreclosure Inventory Rate (the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process) stood at 0.3% in January, down from 0.4% in January 2020. The Transition Rate (the share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due) was at 0.7% in January, up from 0.6% over the previous year.

“The transition rate from current to delinquent this January was the lowest in 12 months, which is another hopeful sign that family finances are beginning to improve,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft [5], chief economist at CoreLogic. “Further, the transition from 30- to 60-day delinquency was the lowest since last March and is likely to decline further with strong job growth. The consensus view among economists is that the 2021 economy will expand at the fastest rate since 1984.”

Nationwide, all 50 states and nearly all metro areas logged increases in annual overall delinquency rates in January.

Hawaii and Nevada (up 4.2 and 4.1 percentage points, respectively) logged the largest annual increase in overall delinquency rates, as these states are dependent on tourism, which has been slow to recover. Among metro markets, Odessa, Texas, experienced the largest annual increase with 9.7 percentage points as the area is still recovering from significant job loss in the oil industry. Other metro areas with significant overall delinquency increases included Midland, Texas (up 7.7 percentage points) and Kahului, Hawaii (up seven percentage points).