The national delinquency rate increased by 90.22%, according to Black Knight's latest Mortgage Monitor Report, with 1.6 million new delinquencies since March and a rate of 6.45%, the largest single-month increase on record.
Just three months after hitting a record low in January 2020, the national delinquency rate is now at its highest level since 2013, Black Knight notes.
After falling more than 1.5% below its pre-Great Recession average in early 2020, the national delinquency rate is now 2.25% above that benchmark and may be poised to climb higher in May.
While delinquencies rose by at least a full percentage point in all of the 100 largest U.S. metro areas and all 50 states, impacts varied across the country. Delinquency rate increases in Miami (+7.2%) and Las Vegas (+6.2%) were both more than twice the national rise.
Delinquencies varied by home value as well. Mortgages on properties worth less than $100,000 have a delinquency rate of 9.4%, while those on properties worth more than $1 million are less than 1/3 that rate.
The most significant single-month increases in delinquency rates have been among borrowers with homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, with lesser impacts both up and down the home price spectrum. The largest volume of net new delinquencies have still come from more moderately priced homes, simply because that’s where the bulk of the volume lies. Black Knight notes that 50% of the increase in mortgage delinquencies from March to April came on properties valued between $100,000 and $299,000.
According to Black Knight, these findings suggest that expanded unemployment benefits may be helping to assist lower-income workers in terms of wage replacement, while not fully doing so for higher-income workers.
"With expanded unemployment benefits set to end on July 31, it remains to be seen what impact that may have on both forbearance requests and overall delinquencies," Black Knight said.