Mortgage loan performance remained strong in November as serious delinquencies fell to their lowest reported level since before the housing bubble burst, according to CoreLogic. Certain cities affected by natural disasters did see late payment spikes, but they’re expected to recover.
The serious delinquency rate, referring to loans 90 or more days past due, including foreclosures, was 1.5% in November. This is the lowest reading for the month since November 2006, which also ties with August, September and October 2018 for the lowest overall month since March 2007, according to CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights report.
"Solid income growth, a record amount of home equity and an absence of high-risk loan products put the U.S. homeowner on solid ground," Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist, said in a press release. "All of this has helped push delinquency and foreclosure rates to the lowest levels in almost two decades, and will provide a cushion if the housing market should turn down."
About 4.1% of mortgages nationwide were in some stage of delinquency nationwide in November, down from 5.2% a year ago. The share of mortgages in foreclosure fell 0.2 percentage points to 0.4% over this same period, which is the lowest monthly reading since January 2000.
While delinquencies were down across the country, local housing markets in California and the Southeast did see increases in delinquency rates due to 2018 natural disasters.
"Areas that were impacted by hurricanes or wildfires in 2018 are now seeing relatively large annual gains in the share of mortgages moving into 30-day delinquency. As with previous disasters, this is to be expected and we will see the impacts dissipate over time," said CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell.