Even after a year in which hurricanes devastated thousands of homes across the U.S., the numbers of people not able to make mortgage payments has gone down.
On Tuesday, CoreLogic released its February 2018 Loan Performance Insights report — a study that looks at mortgage delinquency rates or loan payments that are late for more than 30 days.
Across the U.S., 4.8 percent of all mortgages are delinquent — down 0.2 percent since February 2017. The number of late mortgage payments also went down compared to the previous month, when the number was 4.9 percent.
The foreclosure rate is down to 0.6 percent compared to 0.8 percent in February 2017. This puts the current 0.6 percent foreclosure rate at the lowest it’s been since June 2007, at the height of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
Along with foreclosure and overall delinquency rates, the CoreLogic report looked at mortgage delinquency in its early stages. Early-stage delinquencies — or loan payments that were 30-59 days late — rose 0.1 percent over the last month but stayed the same from February 2017. Payments that are 60 to 89 days late stayed the same over the last year, falling only 0.1 percent from January 2018.
That said, the states that were hit hardest by storms and hurricanes did see large numbers of foreclosures. In the fall of 2017, Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico all saw widespread damage to residential property — along with high delinquency rates.
“Last year’s hurricanes continue to have an effect on loan performance in affected markets, showing up in statewide data,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist, in a statement. “Serious delinquency rates in February were 50 percent higher than in August 2017 in Texas and nearly double in Florida, even though the wind and flood damage was primarily in costal markets.”
Other states, such as West Virginia, Louisiana and Mississippi also saw high rates of people struggling to make mortgage payments. But overall, both delinquency and foreclosure rates are going down — a trend that, according to CoreLogic’s president and CEO Frank Martell, is driven by multiple factors.
“Overall, delinquency rates fell in the U.S. over the past year, driven by a long run of stringent underwriting, higher employment and wages,” said Martell in a statement. “At the same time, our CoreLogic U.S. Home Price Index (HPI) showed a 6.4 percent increase in home-price appreciation for the 12 months, which ended in February 2018. These factors bode well for the fortunes of both homeowners and mortgage servicers.”
Email Veronika Bondarenko