JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lender Processing Services’ Mortgage Monitor report showed positive signs for the U.S. housing market in May, with the delinquency rate experiencing its largest year-to-date decrease since 2002 and negative equity loans falling 50 percent year to year, the company announced Monday.
The month’s delinquency rate was 6.08 percent, more than a 15 percent fall from last December and a steeper fall from the national peak in January 2010, though still higher than the rates from 1995 to 2005. Among the most significant factors driving the decline is the shrinking proportion of new problem loans in the housing market: The current rate is 0.73 percent, similar to 2005 and 2006 numbers.
At the end of the first quarter of 2013, there were 7.3 million underwater loans nationwide, making up less than 15 percent of active loans. Rising home prices are largely responsible for the improvement.
And loan origination rates remained high this spring: There were 835,000 new loans in April, marking a 34.1 percent year-to-year rise. Preliminary data from May indicated that numbers remained strong despite rising interest rates.
The five states with the highest percentage of non-current loans, a measure of delinquencies and foreclosures, were Florida, New Jersey, Mississippi, Nevada and New York.
The strongest housing mortgage markets were in Montana, Alaska, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota.