Black Knight Financial Services said
today that the mortgage delinquency rate in March was the lowest in the U.S.
since October 2007 and the foreclosure rate was the lowest since October
2008. September 2008 is the date most
commonly used to mark the beginning of the foreclosure crisis. Foreclosure starts in March also hit a 7.5
In its monthly "First Look" report the
company said that the rate of loans that were 30 or more days past due in March
but not in foreclosure was 5.52 percent or 2.77 million housing units. This was a -7.57 percent change (-221,000
units) from February and 16.29 percent lower than in March 2013 when total
delinquencies were approximately 3.31 million.
Of those delinquent mortgages 1.2
million were more than 90 days past due but not yet in foreclosure. That was a decline of 43,000 loans
month-over-month and 267,000 on an annual basis.
Loans in foreclosure, often called the
foreclosure inventory, numbered 1,070,000 in March, down 45,000 from February
and 619,000 compared to March 2013. The
foreclosure inventory represented 2.13 percent of mortgaged homes in the U.S.,
a decline of 4.23 percent for the month and 36.69 percent from the year before.
Black Knight says the total of loans
past due or in foreclosure has slipped below 4 million units for the first time
since November 2007 with a total of 3.84 million homes in those combined
categories. This is a month-over-month
change of -266,000 and a decline year-over-year of 1,156,000.
The states with the highest rates of
non-current loans in March were Mississippi (13.39 percent), New Jersey (12.93
percent), Florida (12.10 percent), New York (11.09 percent), and Maine (10.58
Several states have shown substantial
improvement in their non-current loan percentages over the last six
months. States with declines in those
percentages ranging from 19.22 to 21.42 percent over that period were
California, Arizona, Illinois, Florida, and Nevada. At the same time there were five states in
which the non-current rate deteriorated by approximately 10 percent, Oklahoma,
New York, New Mexico, Alabama, and Louisiana.
There were 88,100 foreclosure starts
nationally in March compared to 91,993 in February. This was a 4.24 percent decrease and starts
were down 27.19 percent from one year earlier.
Foreclosure sales as a percentage of seriously delinquent loans ticked
up 9.15 percent to a rate of 1.83 percent, a rate 6.37 percent below that of
Black Knight said that loan prepayment rates, while still down nearly 60
percent from levels in March 2013, rose in March by 20.84 percent to 0.80
The company will provide a more in-depth
review of this data in its monthly Mortgage Monitor report, scheduled for
release in early May