Fewer homes are in some stage of foreclosure, according to the latest data from CoreLogic, a leading real estate analytics and data firm.

Earlier this month, CoreLogic released its monthly Loan Performance Insights Report, showing that 4.8 percent of mortgages in the U.S. were in some stage of delinquency as of April 2017. This reflects a 0.5 percent decline in the overall delinquency rate compared with April 2016 when it was 5.3 percent. 

“Most major indicators of mortgage performance improved in April, showing that the market continues to benefit from improved economic growth and home price increases,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Regionally, with the exception of several energy industry intensive states — Alaska and North Dakota — the rest of the U.S. continues to see improvements in mortgage performance. While overall performance is improving, it reflects the older legacy pipeline of loans that continue to heal, especially in judicial states which typically take longer to clear out.”

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate

As of April 2017, the foreclosure inventory rate, which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process, was 0.7 percent compared with 1 percent in April 2016. Mortgages in the seriously delinquent range (90 days or more past due) including loans in foreclosure, declined to 2 percent from 2.6 percent in April 2016.

Early-Stage Delinquency Rate

Why measure early-stage delinquency rates? According to CoreLogic, it is important for analyzing the health of the mortgage market. “To comprehensively monitor mortgage performance, CoreLogic examines all stages of delinquency as well as transition rates, which indicate the percentage of mortgages moving from one stage of delinquency to the next,” CoreLogic stated in a July 11 press release.

Early-stage delinquencies are defined as mortgages that are between 30-59 days past due. According to CoreLogic’s April report, mortgages in this stage increased to 2.2 percent in April 2017 from 2 percent in April 2016. The share of mortgages that were in the 60-89 days past due phase was 0.63 percent in April 2017, having decreased slightly from 0.64 percent a year earlier.

As for transition rates, the share of mortgages that transitioned from current to 30 days past due was 1.2 percent in April 2017 compared with 1 percent in April 2016, a 0.2 percent increase from the previous year.

“Delinquency rates are down virtually across the board as the rebound in the U.S. housing market continues to gather steam. It appears likely that delinquency rates will continue to fall for some time, but at a moderating pace,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic, in a statement. “As we look forward, improved fundamentals provide us with a firm foundation and we must now increase our attention to carefully expand the supply of affordable housing stock and ensure that mortgage lending policies help to prudently promote first-time homeownership.”

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