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Delinquencies Plummet to Pre-2000 Level

Delinquent Notice BHThe fact that mortgage delinquencies are declining steadily for a few years now has been no secret. But just how low are they getting?

Delinquencies, defined as 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure, declined by 8 percent over-the-month and 12 percent over-the-year in March down to 4.08 percent—the lowest level since March 2007, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ “First Look” at Mortgage Data for March 2016 [1] released Friday.

The rate of 30-day delinquencies fell even lower in March, down below 2 percent—its lowest level since before the year 2000, according to Black Knight.

The number of 90-day delinquencies also experienced substantial declines both over-the-month (by 39,000) and over-the-year (by 193,000) in March down to 733,000.

The total number of delinquencies for March calculated to slightly more than two million properties. The decline in delinquencies has corresponded with the sharp increase in prepayment speeds, which are usually a good indicator of refinance activity. Prepayment speeds leaped by 46 percent from February to March, up to 1.30 percent (they were still down by almost 17 percent over-the-year even with the over-the-month spike).

4-21 First Look Graph

The number of properties 30 days or more overdue or in foreclosure in March was 2.7 million, which was a decline of more than 200,000 from February and a drop of more than a half million from March 2015, according to Black Knight.

Foreclosure starts, which have largely been up and down over the last couple of years from month to month, declined by 14 percent over-the-month and by 21 percent over-the-year down to 72,800 properties. Foreclosure sales, or completed foreclosures, as a percentage of 90-day delinquencies rose by 17 percent over-the-month and by 13 percent over-the-year in March, up to 2.18 percent, Black Knight reported.

Click here [1] to view the full First Look for March.