KEY POINTS

  • Mortgage delinquency rates in the U.S. reached a five-year high of 7.3% in May
  • Every state and all but two metropolitan regions showed an increase in their overall delinquency rates over the past year
  • The state of New York had the highest share of mortgages which were 30 days or more delinquent – at 11.4%

Mortgage delinquency rates in the U.S. reached a five-year high of 7.3% in May, according to a report released Tuesday by real estate data analytics firm CoreLogic.

That was the highest monthly figure since August 2014 and a 1.2% jump from April 2020. The figure was 3.6% in May 2019.

“The national unemployment rate soared from a 50-year low in February 2020 to an 80-year high in April,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “With the sudden loss of income, many homeowners are struggling to stay on top of their mortgage loans, resulting in a jump in non-payment.”

Every state and all but two metropolitan regions showed an increase in their overall delinquency rates over the past year, as the “impact of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting recession made it difficult for borrowers to make their monthly mortgage payments.”

CoreLogic defines a mortgage as “delinquent” if it is at least 30 days past due.

The percentage of mortgages that were 30 to 59 days past due – which are considered “early-stage delinquencies” – was at 3% in May 2020, up from 1.7% in May 2019.

The percentage of mortgages that were 60 to 89 days past due increased to 2.8% in May 2020 from 0.6% in May 2019 and up from 0.7% in April 2020.

Those percentage of mortgages that are “seriously delinquent” — at least 90 days past due, including loans in foreclosure — was at 1.5% in May 2020, up from 1.3% from the same time last year. That marked the first year-over-year increase in serious delinquency rates since November 2010.

But CoreLogic also said that the foreclosure inventory rate — the percentage of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process — was at 0.3% in May 2020, down from 0.4% from May 2019 and equal to the figure from April 2020. The May figure marked the lowest foreclosure rate in at least 21 years.

On a regional basis, the state of New York had the highest share of mortgages which were 30 days or more delinquent – at 11.4% in May. New York was followed by New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida (all above 10%).

Idaho and South Dakota had the lowest share of such delinquencies -- each at 3.9%.

While all U.S. states recorded increases in their year-over-year delinquency rates, the biggest such jumps were found in New Jersey (up 6.4%), Nevada (up 6.4%), New York (up 6.1%) and Florida (up 5.8%).

Among metropolitan areas, Miami had the largest share of mortgages delinquent at least 30 days – at 13.9%. Miami was followed by New York, Las Vegas, Houston and Chicago (all between 8% and 12%).

Among metropolitan areas, San Francisco had the lowest such rate at 4.9%.

Miami also logged the largest increase in its overall delinquency rate of any metropolitan area, jumping by 9.2% from a year earlier.

Looking ahead, CoreLogic warned it expects the serious delinquency rate to quadruple by the end of 2021, without further government programs and support. That amount would push 3 million homeowners into serious delinquency.

“Government and industry relief programs have helped to cushion the initial financial blow of the pandemic for millions of U.S. homeowners,” said Frank Martell, President and CEO of CoreLogic. “COVID-19 and the resulting pressures continue to influence the economic activity of many households. Barring additional intervention from the federal and state governments, we are likely to see meaningful spikes in delinquencies over the short to medium term.”