There was a slight uptick in a couple of housing distress measures in November, but the general trend continues down. Still, as Black Knight Financial Services notes in its monthly "first look" at mortgage performance data "Annual improvement in mortgage delinquency rates is beginning to slow as [the] market 'normalizes'."
The company also says pre-payment activity remains strong for now as applications made prior to the rise in interest rates continue to close.
Foreclosures, foreclosure starts and delinquency rates all ticked up from October levels. The 60,400 starts represented an increase of 6.9 percent from the previous month but were 9.31 percent below starts in November 2015 and still near a 10-year low.
The 30+-day delinquency rate was 4.46 percent in November, a 2.55 percent change from October, an increase Black Knight calls seasonal. The rate is down 9.43 percent from a year earlier. The number of mortgages that were 30 or more days past due was 2.263 million, 61,000 more than the previous month but 228,000 fewer than the previous November.
Serious delinquencies - loans 90 or more days past due but not yet in foreclosure, were down by 5,000 month-over-month and 145,000 from last year. The total of serious delinquencies was 682,000.
A decline of 6,000 homes in the process of foreclosure compared to October brought the foreclosure inventory below the half million mark for the first time in nearly 10 years. The inventory now numbers 498,000 units, 0.98 percent of all homes with a mortgage.
Foreclosure sales as a percentage of homes with a mortgage were up both month over month (by 6.85 percent) and year-over-year (2.70 percent) to 1.82 percent.
The number of distressed properties nationwide at the end of the reporting period was 2.76 million. States with the highest levels of distress were Mississippi at a 11.6 percent non-current rate, Louisiana (10.09 percent), New Jersey (8.20 percent), Alabama (8.06 percent), and West Virginia (7.94 percent).
Black Knight derives in month-end mortgage performance statistics from its loan-level database representing the majority of the national mortgage market. The company provides a more intensive analysis of some portions of these statistics in its Mortgage Monitor which will be available early in January.