National mortgage delinquency rates are down for the third consecutive quarter. Learn more about this and other real estate market trends.
Thanks to improving real estate market trends, the share of borrowers delinquent on their mortgage payments has declined for the third consecutive quarter, according to data released today by TransUnion, an information and risk management company based in Chicago.
The national mortgage delinquency rate fell to 5.41 percent in the third quarter of 2012, down from 5.49 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to TransUnion. The rate, which reflects borrowers who are past due on mortgage payments by 60 or more days, was 5.88 percent in the third quarter of 2011.
The decline reflects the increased numbers of homeowners who are “able and willing” to make their mortgage payments, Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. housing for the TransUnion financial services business unit. Mortgage delinquency rates are expected to fall a little bit further in the fourth quarter of 2012, due to improving real estate market trends. It’s anticipated that increasing home prices and sales, as well as continued refinance activity will help bring the national mortgage delinquency rate to the 5.25 percent to 5.35 percent by the end of the year.
“However, we still have a long way to go to reach more ‘normal’ conditions of a delinquency rate in the 1 percent to 2 percent range for the U.S. average,” Martin said in a statement.
Hurricane Sandy is likely to have a regional effect on real estate market trends. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that applications for new and refinanced mortgages both fell 5 percent across the nation in the week ending November 2, 2012, but decreased dramatically in storm-ravaged states.
“Applications fell more than 60 percent compared to the prior week in New Jersey, almost 50 percent in New York and nearly 40 percent in Connecticut,” Mike Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics for the association, said in a statement. “Other East Coast states also saw declines over the week, while many states in other parts of the country had increases in application volumes.”
Refinancing activity has been on the decline for five consecutive weeks and is at its lowest level since the end of August, according to the association, which reports that refinancing currently accounts for 80 percent of mortgage activity.
Investors participating in the monthly Millionaire Corner survey for October indicated little interest in refinancing their mortgage. Only 15 percent said they were considering refinancing in the near future. Of those, 55 percent are considering a shorter-term mortgage and 38 percent said they would pay down principal at the closing to reduce the size of their mortgage.