Mortgage credit performance, with a focus on mortgage default rates, was one of the most popular topics among mortgage professionals in 2019, according to CoreLogic’s year-end lookback.
According to CoreLogic, the most read blog article for 2019 discussed decreases in serious delinquency rates and the differences in delinquencies for conventional, FHA and VA loans. The January article, “Mortgage Delinquency Rates for All Loan Types Continue to Fall,” identified year-over-year mortgage delinquency rate declines between 2018 and 2017, an ongoing trend that continued into 2019. For example, the most recent CoreLogic Mortgage Monitor Report revealed that the overall delinquency rate was 3.8% nationwide in September, down from 4.4% a year earlier and the lowest for the month of September in more than 20 years.
While overall delinquency fell, serious delinquency rates have begun to flatten out at low levels. The serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure, was 1.3% in September 2019, down from 1.5% in September 2018. Likewise, the share of mortgages that were 30 to 59 days past due—considered early-stage delinquencies—was 1.9% in September 2019, down from 2.2% in September 2018. The share of mortgages 60 to 89 days past due was 0.6% in September 2019, down from 0.7% in September 2018.
Another popular topic in 2019 was the Qualified Mortgage GSE Patch, along with the nature of non-qualified mortgages. Earlier this year, the CFPB announced that it would be focusing its attention on the Patch, on loans that are eligible to be purchased or guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
While proponents of the QM Patch say that its expiry in 2021 would make homes less affordable, especially in the lower-tier housing market, an article in Forbes points out that if the Trump administration wants to improve housing affordability, "it needs to expand the role of private markets through increased competition."
CoreLogic's complete list of the most popular topics this year can be found here.