The U.S. mortgage-delinquency rate has dropped to its lowest level in nearly eight years, with the San Francisco metro area leading the charge.
The latest TransUnion Industry Insights Report puts the number of U.S. delinquent mortgages – defined as those that are 60 days or more late on payments — at 2.95 percent in the first quarter, down from 3.59 percent one year ago. The national mortgage delinquency rate has declined for 13 straight quarters and is now at its lowest level since the third quarter of 2007. Delinquency rates peaked at 6.94 percent in the first quarter of 2010.
TransUnion says the subprime mortgage-delinquency rate decreased to 27.23 percent, down from 29.76 in the first quarter of 2014. The number of subprime mortgage delinquencies also reached a high in the first quarter of 2010, when 40.48 percent of borrowers where behind on their payments.
“It’s taken more than seven years, but the mortgage delinquency rate has reached pre-recession levels,” TransUnion Vice President Joe Mellman said in a statement accompanying the report. “We continue to see a steady decline in the mortgage delinquency rate, primarily driven by strong performance by newer vintage loans. It’s also encouraging to see continued delinquency rate declines for the subprime and near-prime risk groups.”
The company says that all 50 states saw an annual decline in mortgage delinquencies in the first quarter, as did most major metro areas. California saw the second largest delinquency drops in the country, down from 2.78 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 2.00 percent in the first quarter of 2015. California homeowners carried an average mortgage balance of $324,835, the highest in the country’s five most populous states.
According to TransUnion, the San Francisco metro area had the lowest rate of delinquent mortgages in the country in the first quarter: 1.32 percent, down from 1.92 percent one year ago. Miami had the most delinquent mortgages in the U.S., with 6.15 percent of borrowers behind on payments.
The report found that Bay Area residents are also fiscally responsible when it comes to credit-card debt, with just 0.88 percent of cardholders 90 days or more delinquent on payments in the first quarter, the fewest in the country. California had a credit-card delinquency rate of 1.30 percent, lower than other highly populous states and the national average of 1.37 percent.
(Photo: Flickr/Oliver Symens)