Strong Improvement for U.S. Mortgage Delinquency Rates in March, Says Report

One-year since the onset of the pandemic, the U.S. overall delinquency hits lowest level

CoreLogic

CoreLogic, a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report for March 2021.

For the month of March, 4.9% of all mortgages in the U.S. were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure), representing a 1.3-percentage point increase in overall delinquency rate compared to March 2020. This month’s overall delinquency marks the lowest rate since last March when it was 3.6%.

To gain an accurate view of the mortgage market and loan performance health, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency. In March 2021, the U.S. delinquency and transition rates, and their year-over-year changes, were as follows:

  • Early-Stage Delinquencies (30 to 59 days past due): 1%, down from 1.9% in March 2020.
  • Adverse Delinquency (60 to 89 days past due): 0.4%, down from 0.6% in March 2020.
  • Serious Delinquency (90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure): 3.5%, up from 1.2% in March 2020.
  • Foreclosure Inventory Rate (the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process): 0.3%, down from 0.4% in March 2020.
  • Transition Rate (the share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due): 0.4%, down from 1% in March 2020.

March 2021 marked a critical juncture in the U.S. — the one-year anniversary of the onset of the pandemic, the third round and disbursement of government stimulus checks and the extension of forbearance programs. Taken together, some of these factors helped mortgage holders stay current on their loans and led to the lowest national delinquency rate in a year in March 2021. Additionally, the convergence of these financial paddings allowed many homeowners to chip away at other debt. A recent CoreLogic survey of current mortgage holders shows that in addition to 89% of respondents saying they are current on their mortgage payments, nearly 70% said they also have credit card debt — of which, only 15% reported falling behind on payments in the past year.

“U.S. overall mortgage delinquency lessened significantly from February to March, and rates for nearly every other stage of delinquency were down compared to a year ago,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Homeowners are catching up on their debt as the economic effects of the pandemic begin to wane, which is yet another sign of forward motion on the road to overall recovery.”

“Many forces came together in March to yield the largest one-month improvement in the overall delinquency rate since the pandemic started,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “In addition to continued government support, including stimulus payments and mortgage forbearance programs, the U.S. economy added 770,000 jobs in March, the largest increase since August of 2020.”

State and Metro Takeaways:

  • All U.S. states and nearly all metro areas logged increases in annual overall delinquency rates in March.
  • Hawaii and Nevada (up 3.2 and 3 percentage points, respectively) again logged the largest annual increase in overall delinquency rates in March.
  • Among metros, Odessa, Texas, still recovering from job losses in the oil industry, had the largest annual overall delinquency increase with 7.9 percentage points.
  • Other metro areas with significant overall delinquency increases included Midland, Texas (up 6.1 percentage points); Kahului, Hawaii (up 5.2 percentage points) and Lake Charles, Louisiana (up 4 percentage points).

The next CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights Report will be released on July 13, 2021, featuring data for April 2021.

Figure 1: Overview of Loan Performance 062021

Table 1 : Change for States with the Highest Overall Delinquency Rate

Table 2: Foreclosure and Delinquency Rates for Select Metropolitan Areas

Methodology

The data in The CoreLogic LPI report represents foreclosure and delinquency activity reported through March 2021. The data in this report accounts for only first liens against a property and does 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 subject to foreclosure and are, therefore, excluded from the analysis. CoreLogic has approximately 75% coverage of U.S. foreclosure data.

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