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Mortgage delinquencies hit lowest mark since 1990s

An estimated 3.3 percent of all U.S. mortgages were in some state of delinquency in January, including foreclosures, according to data released this week.

That was a 2.3 percent decrease year-over-year and the lowest national delinquency rate recorded since at least January 1999, Irvine-based CoreLogic reported.

It was also the 10th consecutive month of year-over-year declines.

By category, delinquency rates in January were:

  • Early-stage delinquencies [30 to 59 days past due]: 1.2 percent, down from 1.3 percent in January 2021.
  • Adverse delinquency [60 to 89 days past due]: 0.3 percent, down from 0.5 percent in January 2021
  • Serious delinquency [90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure]: 1.8 percent, down from 3.8 percent in January 2021 and a high of 4.3 percent in August 2020.
  • Foreclosure Inventory Rate [the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process]: 0.2 percent, down from 0.3 percent in January 2021.

“The large rise in home prices — up 19 percent in January from one year earlier — has built home equity and is an important factor in the continuing low level of foreclosures,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist of CoreLogic, in a statement.

In the inland Empire, 3.2 percent of all mortgages were in some state of delinquency in January, down from 5.9 percent year-over-year.  Serious delinquencies were at 1.7 percent, down from 3.9 percent, while the foreclosure rate – 0.2 percent – remained the same, according to CoreLogic.

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