According to the latest data from property analytics provider CoreLogic, mortgage delinquencies are down 2.6 percentage points from the 7.3 percent observed in June 2020 at the height of the pandemic. Today, early-stage delinquencies (payments that are from 30 to 59 days late) are down to 1.2 percent from 3 percent in May 2020.
Adverse Delinquency (60 to 89 days past due date) are down to 0.3 percent from 2.8 percent while serious delinquencies (late by more than 90 days) are up to 3.2 percent from 1.5 percent. Foreclosures, or a situation in which one’s home is seized entirely due to missed payments, remain at the same 0.7 percent observed in June 2020.
“The pandemic has created many challenges but, in the case of delinquencies, the impacts have been relatively muted thanks to numerous government support programs and the sharp snapback in economic activity over the past several quarters,” Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, said in a prepared statement. “Looking forward, we expect a robust economy and near-zero interest rates to hold delinquency levels at reasonable levels.”
Fears of a spike in the number of people unable to make their mortgage payments has been much discussed throughout the pandemic. Foreclosures and anti-eviction laws have largely prevented a wide-scale foreclosure crisis even though the high adverse delinquency numbers indicate that missed payments can stack up and create a financial hole once programs end and higher sums all start becoming due at once.
That said, rising home values and a strong economy places the vast majority of homeowners in a favorable position to make up for any gaps caused by lost work during the early days of the pandemic. CoreLogic predicts that the delinquency rates seen in the summer and fall of 2020 have been the worst of the storm as a booming economy pushes those numbers even lower in the coming months.
“The rise in home prices has built a substantial home equity cushion for homeowners with a mortgage, reducing the risk of a foreclosure,” Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a prepared statement. “The CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded an annual increase of 17 percent in June. This price rise builds home equity. For most borrowers in forbearance, the equity gain means they’ll still have some remaining — even if missed payments are added to their loan balance.”