Mortgage delinquency data released by TransUnion today show that mortgage delinquencies are plummeting nationally. The rate of borrowers 60 days or more past due on their mortgages fell to 4.09 percent in the second quarter of 2013 from 4.56 percent in the first, a decline of 10 percent, Delinquencies were down 26 percent from the second quarter of 2012.
TransUnion called the rate of decline "unprecedented." Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. Housing in the company's financial services unit said, "This marks the third quarter in a row where we have posted all-time highs in terms of delinquency improvement and that is very welcome news for both borrowers and their lenders. Many of the delinquent mortgages we have been tracking have been delinquent for a very long time, so it is encouraging to see this number is coming down so significantly."
The improvement was evident in every state and the District of Columbia. Arizona and California showed the greatest positive change, both posting slightly better than 30 percent declines in their mortgage delinquency rates. While still having the highest delinquency rates in the country, even Florida (9.87 percent) and Nevada (7.74 percent) improved dramatically with their current rates reflect decreases of 26.8 percent and 28.7 percent respectively.
TransUnion expects the mortgage delinquency rate to continue its downward trend in the third quarter of 2013, finishing below 4% for the first time since 2008.
"Improving house prices and low interest rates have helped some homeowners across the country refinance or sell their way out of mortgage payments they were having difficulty affording," said Martin. "While we expect these positive factors to continue reducing the mortgage delinquency rate throughout 2013, the recent and sizable increase in mortgage interest rates may eventually slow the progress."
Annual decreases in delinquencies were especially high in several large metropolitan statistical areas. Phoenix was down 47.7 percent, San Francisco 43.7 percent, and Denver, Los Angeles, and Detroit all saw delinquencies fall by around 38 percent. TransUnion said 95 percent of the MSAs it tracks experienced a year-over-year improvement.