U.S. mortgage delinquency rates remain near historic lows: CoreLogic

Mortgage performance remains strong despite the small increases in overdue payments over the past year

In March 2024, the national delinquency rate for residential mortgages stood at 2.8% for the third month in a row, up slightly from March 2023, according to the latest CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights report.

The data provider examined all stages of delinquencies to gain a complete view of the mortgage market and loan performance health.

Early-stage delinquencies (mortgages 30 to 59 days past due) accounted for 1.5% of all mortgages in February, up from 1.1% in March 2023. Adverse delinquencies (loans 60 to 89 days past due) stood at 0.4%, up from 0.3% in March 2023. And serious delinquencies (loans 90 days or more overdue and those in foreclosure) were at 0.9%, down from 1.1% in March 2023.

The foreclosure process affected only 0.3% of mortgages, a rate that has remained unchanged for 25 straight months and is a sign that mortgage performance remains strong despite the small upticks in delinquencies on a yearly basis. 

Furthermore, a U.S. unemployment rate that remained below 4% in April should help most borrowers pay their bills on time in the coming months.

“The U.S. delinquency rate increased from a year earlier in March, driven by an uptick in early-stage delinquencies,” Molly Boesel, principal economist for CoreLogic, said in a statement. “Further, the early-stage delinquency rate remained flat from February to March this year, while it typically falls between those months, as many borrowers receive income tax refunds in March. 

“While monthly changes in the early-stage delinquency rate can be volatile, this break from the seasonal trend comes at a time when household budgets are strained by still-high inflation.”

Forty-eight states posted year-over-year increases in their overall delinquency rates in March. The state with the largest gain was Louisiana, up 0.7 percentage points to a rate of 5.5%. 

In March, six U.S. metro areas posted an annual increase in their serious delinquency rates,  while 39 metros recorded no changes.

The metro that posted the largest increase in serious delinquencies compared to March 2023 was Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii, up by 1.5 percentage points. The island of Maui was the site of devastating wildfires in August 2023 and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently extended its foreclosure moratorium there until Aug. 4, 2024.

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