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Mortgage Performance: A Look at the Latest Trends

Delinquencies hit a record low in April, according to the latest First Look at Black Knight’s mortgage performance data. Mortgage delinquencies dropped to 3.47%, the lowest point on record, and Black Knight noted that the 5.51% month-over-month decline between April and March was the strongest single-month April improvement Black Knight has seen.

Serious delinquencies fell to a 12-year record low as well, down to 474,000, marking a 124,000 year-over-year decline. Despite the declines, foreclosure starts edged up in April month-over-month by 4.28%, putting the total at 41,400. Year-over-year, however, foreclosure starts declined by 16.02%.

According to Black Knight, Mississippi holds the highest percentage of delinquencies in the U.S., at 9.95%, representing a 6.47% year-over-year increase. Behind Mississippi are Louisiana, Alabama, West Virginia, and Arkansas.

At the top of Black Knight’s list of states with the lowest share of delinquencies is Colorado, with a delinquency rate of 1.78%. Colorado’s delinquency rate fell by 1.75% year-over-year. Behind Colorado are Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and North Dakota.

Prepayment activity rose in April from March’s data, up by 17%, and Black Knight noted that the three-month aggregate increased to 67%. According to Black Knight, the increase in prepayment activity was due in part to low interest rates and the start of the spring homebuying season.

CoreLogic recently reported similar trends in delinquency. According to CoreLogic’s latest Loan Performance Insights report, the amount of mortgages that were delinquent more than 30 days decreased slightly year-over-year to 4%.

The report states the nation’s overall delinquency rate has fallen on a year-over-year basis for the past 14 consecutive months. CoreLogic stated that the decreases were attributable to the strength of loan vintages in the years since the residential lending market recovered following the housing crisis.

Eleven core-based statistical areas/metros experienced increases in serious delinquency rates, most of them located on the East Coast, according to CoreLogic's report.

"We are on track to test generational lows as delinquency rates hit their lowest point in almost two decades. Given the economic outlook, we are likely to see more declines over the balance of this year. Reflective of the drop in delinquency rates, no state experienced a year-over-year increase in its foreclosure inventory rate so far in 2019,” said Frank Martell, CoreLogic's President and CEO.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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