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Delinquencies tick down in May

Mortgage delinquencies ticked down in May on a nationwide basis, but the wildfires raging in California will likely push delinquencies higher in affected areas of the Golden State, CoreLogic said.

Nationally, the stock of distressed properties continued to fall to decade-long lows. Some 4.2 percent of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency, including properties in foreclosures, CoreLogic reported. That was down 30 basis points from a year earlier.

The foreclosure inventory rate, which measures mortgages in some stage of foreclosure, stood at 50 basis points in May, down 20 basis points from a year earlier and the lowest level of any month since September 2006.

The serious delinquency rate, or the loans at least 90 days past due, including foreclosure, declined 20 basis points year over year to 1.8 percent.  

Despite the lower overall trends, the wildfires in California will push delinquencies higher.

"The tragic wildfires in the West will likely lead to a spike in delinquencies in hard-hit neighborhoods,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said.

“As an example, the wildfire in Santa Rosa last year destroyed or severely damaged more than 5,000 homes,” Nothaft said. “Delinquency rates rose in the aftermath, and in the ensuing months we observed home-price growth accelerate and sales decline. We will likely see the same scenario unfold in fire-ravaged communities this year."


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