Mortgage delinquencies defied several trends in April, according to the latest First Look at the month’s mortgage performance data from Black Knight, Inc. April is typically a month that sees an increase in mortgage delinquencies. In fact, historically, delinquencies have increased during April 85 percent of the time, according to Black Knight. Not so for this year, however—in April 2018, Black Knight reports that mortgage delinquencies actually declined by 1.6 percent. That decrease “halted a seven-month trend of annual increases in the national delinquency rate.”
So, what caused this break from the norm? Black Knight reports that the shift was largely driven by decreases in delinquencies among areas impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Black Knight also tracked declining delinquencies in areas not affected by last year’s storms, although those decreases were not as noteworthy. Nor have the effects of 2017’s storm season vanished altogether: Black Knight reports that hurricane-impacted areas of Texas, Florida, and Georgia are still showing over 90,000 seriously delinquent mortgages attributed to the natural disasters.
Foreclosure starts totaled 49,300 in April, down 5.4 percent overall and down 30 percent from March in hurricane-affected areas. The number of mortgages in active foreclosure also hit its lowest point since August 2006, according to Black Knight.
The total loan delinquency rate, representing loans 30 or more days past due but not yet in foreclosure, was 3.67 percent in April, down 1.6 percent over March and 10.17 percent year-over-year. The total number of properties 30 days or more overdue but not in foreclosure was 1,885,000 in April, down 27,000 month-over-month and down 187,000 year-over-year.
Black Knight will delve deeper into the April data in their full Mortgage Monitor report, which will be released on June 4. You can examine Black Knight’s previous Mortgage Monitor reports by clicking here.