The rate of mortgage delinquency in Massachusetts and in the nation overall has dropped, according to a report that CoreLogic, a global property data and analytics firm, released Tuesday.
In Massachusetts, the rate of mortgages that are 30 days or more delinquent dropped 0.9 percentage points to 3.8 in April, down from 4.7 percent in April 2017. The rate of serious delinquencies also decreased from 2 percent to 1.6. The foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, slipped from 0.8 percent to 0.6 percent.
The report also shows that, nationally, 4.2 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure) in April 2018, representing a 0.6 percentage point decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with April 2017, when it was 4.8 percent.
“Job growth, home-price appreciation, and full-doc underwriting have pushed delinquency and foreclosure rates to the lowest point in more than a decade,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The latest CoreLogic Home Price Index report revealed the annual national home price growth was 7.1 percent in May, the fastest annual growth in four years. U.S. employers have also continued to employ more individuals, as employment rose by 2.4 million throughout the last 12 months, with 213,000 jobs added last month alone. Together, this heightened financial stability is pushing delinquency and foreclosure rates to record lows.”
There was even better news on foreclosures. Nationally, the April 2018 foreclosure inventory rate was the lowest for that month in 11 years. As of April 2018, that rate was 0.6 percent, down 0.1 percentage points from 0.7 percent in April 2017. Since August 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate has been steady at 0.6 percent.
The rate for early-stage delinquencies – defined as 30 to 59 days past due – was 1.8 percent in April 2018, down from 2.2 in April 2017. The share of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due in April 2018 was 0.6 percent, unchanged from April 2017. The serious delinquency rate – defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure – was 1.9 percent in April 2018, down from 2.0 percent in April 2017. The April 2018 serious delinquency rate was the lowest for that month since 2007 when it was 1.6 percent.
As a result of the 2017 hurricane season, Florida and Texas are the only states showing significant gains in 90-day delinquency rates. According to the CoreLogic Storm Surge Report, Florida has the most densely populated and longest coastal area and thus the most exposure to storm surge flooding (compared with the 19 states analyzed in the report), with more than 2.7 million at-risk homes across five risk categories (Category 1 – Category 5 storms). Louisiana ranks second with more than 817,000 at-risk homes, while Texas sits at third with more than 543,000. A major storm did not strike Louisiana in 2017, but Florida and Texas are still recovering from Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, respectively.
The data in the report account for only first liens against a property and do not include secondary liens. The delinquency, transition, and foreclosure rates are measured only against homes that have an outstanding mortgage. Homes without mortgage liens are not typically subject to foreclosure and were excluded from the analysis.
Approximately one-third of homes nationally are owned outright and do not have a mortgage.
CoreLogic has approximately 85 percent coverage of U.S. foreclosure data.