While foreclosure starts have experienced a couple of seasonal increases in recent months, Black Knight Financial Services reported in its "First Look" at April 2015 mortgage data that it was delinquencies that ticked slightly upward to due seasonality.
The Black Knight report released Friday revealed that delinquencies in April slightly increased by 1.46 percent, pushing the national rate up to 4.77 percent – still a low number by post-crisis standards. The 4.77 percent represented a total of 2.41 million single-family residential properties, while the increase of 1.46 percent represented a jump of about 35,000. Year-over-year, there was a decline of about 15 percent (about 406,000 properties) in the number of delinquent properties.
Meanwhile, foreclosure inventory – the total number of mortgage loans in some state of foreclosure – continued its decline toward pre-crisis levels in April by falling 25.5 percent year-over-year down to 1.51 percent, about 764,000 properties. It is the lowest level for foreclosure inventory since January 2008 right at the beginning of the recession.
Foreclosure starts totaled 73,500 for April, a decline of 22 percent from March and from 7 percent from April 2014. The monthly prepayment rate, which is generally a good indicator of refinance activity, were up by more than 60 percent year-over-year in April up to 1.39 percent despite a month-over-month decline of 14.5 percent.
Foreclosure starts have totaled less than 100,000 every month since January 2014 but have largely been up and down from month-to-month in the last three years, according to Black Knight data. In January, they totaled 94,300; in February, the fell down to 79,700; in March, they rose back up to 94,100; and back down to 73,500 for April.
Florida had the largest six-month rate of improvement for non-current loans among states in April with a 17.4 percent decline, according to Black Knight. Florida's non-current loan rate of 8.40 percent for April was nearly two full percentage points ahead of the state with the second-largest six-month improvement (Illinois, which experienced a 15.14 percent decline down to 6.45 percent).