Foreclosure starts fall to lowest level this century: Black Knight

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November's foreclosure starts hit their lowest level since Black Knight started tracking this data in 2000, while the foreclosure rate reached a 14-year low.

However, the number of mortgages where the borrower was 30 days or more late on their payment rose by 4.2% from one month prior to 3.5%, which Black Knight attributed to a normal seasonal pattern. One year ago, the delinquency rate between October and November increased by 1.8% to 3.7%.

Foreclosure starts dropped to 33,500 in November, down 23.7% from October and 26.9% from November 2018. Meanwhile the foreclosure rate was just 47 basis points, down 3.3% from the prior month and 9.1% compared with one year earlier.

Prepayments — which reached a six-year high in October — fell by 19.1% to a rate of 1.46%, as rising mortgage rates cut the incentive to refinance and home sale-related early payoffs declined because of seasonality, Black Knight said.

Still, the prepayment rate was 123% higher than the 10-year low of 0.66% recorded in November 2018.

The number of properties delinquent on their mortgage or in foreclosure grew by 75,000 in November to 2.12 million. This decreased 77,000 compared with November 2018.

The number of properties where the mortgage payment was at least 30 days late increased 82,000 month-to-month to 1.87 million; the subset of those 90 days or more past due grew by 6,000 to 439,000. But when compared with one year ago, 71,000 fewer loans were 90 days or more late; the number of loans 30 days past due fell by 57,000 from November 2018.

The foreclosure pre-sale inventory ended the month at 248,000, down 7,000 from October and 20,000 from November 2018.

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