While nearly every metric related to defaults and foreclosures continued its six-year-long decline in April, a couple of stats jumped up during the month, according to Black Knight Financial Services' First Look at Mortgage Data for April 2016 released Tuesday.
April saw the number of 30-day residential mortgages shoot up to 84,000 after hitting a nine-year low in March, pushing the national delinquency rate up to 4.24 percent. The rise in 30-day delinquencies brought up the non-current inventory (properties 30-days or more past due or in foreclosure) up by 48,000, up to 2.74 million.
Even with the monthly increases, however, 30-day delinquencies were down by 10 percent over-the-year in April and non-current inventory was down by nearly half a million.
“April’s rise in delinquencies is indicative of typical seasonality,” said Andy Walden of Black Knight's Data & Analytics Division. “In most years, delinquencies will hit their calendar year low in March and then gradually climb throughout the summer and fall months. It’s important to remember that, despite this seasonal uptick, delinquencies are still 10 percent below last year’s level and non-current inventory is down 460,000 over the same time period, indicating continued improvement in overall market performance.”
April's total number of foreclosure starts (58,700) was the lowest total for any one month in 10 years. Foreclosure inventory, or the number of residential properties in some state of foreclosure, declined by nearly 6 percent over-the-month and nearly 28 percent over-the-year in April down to 1.17 percent, or about 595,000.
The monthly prepayment rate, which is usually a good indicator of refinance activity, declined both over-the-year (7 percent) and over-the-month (3 percent) despite interest rates hovering near three-year lows. This continued a trend from Black Knight's March 2016 Mortgage Monitor, which reported that more than two-thirds out of the 7.5 million borrowers who are likely eligible to benefit from refinancing were also eligible last year but still did not take advantage of the opportunity.
Click here to view the complete First Look at Mortgage Data for April 2016.