Mortgage Delinquencies at Lowest Level Since Pandemic

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Homeowners are keeping up with their mortgage payments or arranging for loan modifications with their service providers. But housing analysts say that while the real estate market still faces pandemic-related fears about a wave of delinquencies, higher home prices are helping to alleviate some of those concerns.

The overall delinquency rate fell to the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic, CoreLogic, a real estate data firm, reports. “However, the decrease in delinquencies masks the serious financial challenges that a part of the borrower population has experienced,” Molly Boesel, economist at CoreLogic, writes for CoreLogic Insights. “In the months prior to the pandemic, only one in five delinquent loans had missed six or more payments. In August 2021 one in two borrowers with missed payments were behind six or more months. Fortunately, large increases in home prices [have] given most borrowers a large home equity cushion, making foreclosure far less likely.”

The nation’s overall delinquency rate was 4% in August, which reflects homeowners in some stage of delinquency, considered to be 30 days or more past due on their mortgage payments, according to CoreLogic. That is a decrease of 2.6% from August 2020. Delinquencies, however, are still slightly above the early pre-pandemic rate in 2020 of 3.6%.

A line graph showing the rate of mortgage delinquencies having fallen sharply from the start of the pandemic.

All states posted annual decreases in their delinquency rates in August as the employment rate continues to improve across the country. The states with the highest delinquency rates include Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland, according to CoreLogic.