Mortgage delinquencies decreased 12% in March compared to February, bringing the delinquency rate to below 5% for the first time since August 2007, according to Black Knight's ‘First Look’ mortgage report.
Specifically, the delinquency rate on loans 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure was 4.70%, a decrease of 12.18% compared to February and a decrease of 14.72% compared to March 2014.
It was the largest monthly drop in the delinquency rate in nine years, the mortgage technology company reports.
In addition, prepayments increased 40% in March compared to February and were up about 103% compared to March 2014. Specifically, the monthly prepayment rate was 1.62%, an increase of 39.82% compared to February and an increase of 103.12% compared to March 2014.
The national foreclosure rate as of March stood at about 1.55%, down 2.12% compared to February and down 27.41% compared to March of last year.
Foreclosure starts increased about 18% in March compared to the month prior and were up about 7% compared to a year earlier. There were about 94,100 foreclosure starts in March.
The mortgage performance statistics are derived from Black Knight's loan-level database representing approximately two-thirds of the overall market.
About 2.38 million properties were 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure as of March – down about 333,000 from February and down about 390,000 from March 2014.
About 971,000 properties were 90 or more days past due but not in foreclosure – down about 96,000 compared to the previous month and down about 228,000 compared to March of last year.
There were about 782,000 properties in foreclosure presale inventory – down about 18,000 compared to February and down about 288,000 compared to March 2014.
States that had the highest levels of delinquencies in March were Mississippi (12.37%), New Jersey (10.78%), Louisiana (9.66%), New York (9.33%) and Maine (8.96%).
States that had the lowest levels of delinquencies included Montana (3.32%), Minnesota (3.25%), South Dakota (3.15%), Colorado (3.08%) and North Dakota (2.05%).