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Mortgages O/S Up, Post-Recession Low for Lates

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The collective balance of residential loans outstanding increased in the final quarter of last year, while mortgage delinquency fell to the lowest level since the recession.

There were
53.2 million single-family loans outstanding as of the fourth-quarter 2017 that had an aggregate unpaid principal balance of approximately $10.732 billion.

America’s book of mortgage business grew from the preceding three-month period, when 52.7 million loans were outstanding for $10.509 billion.

Outstanding home loans have also grown from the final quarter of 2016, when they stood at 52.0 million loans for $10.110 billion as of.

The findings were based TransUnion’s 2018 Consumer Credit Forecast released Tuesday.

Delinquency of at least 60 days on the U.S. mortgage portfolio was 1.86 percent, falling from 1.91 percent at the end of the third quarter and sinking from 2.28 percent at the end of 2016.

Delinquency has retreated on a year-over-year basis each quarter since the recession.

“Mortgage delinquency rates for Q4 2017 continued to decline, reaching their lowest levels since the recession,” TransUnion Senior Vice President and Mortgage Business Leader Joe Mellman observed in the report. “This largely reflects recession era defaults having worked their way out of the system and recent originations being underwritten to a very high standard.”

The improvement in loan performance seems to contrast delinquency data from other sources that show deterioration due to last year’s hurricanes. For instance, Black Knight reported that 30-day delinquency finished last year at 4.71 percent, worsening from 4.40 percent reported for the end of September.

TransUnion’s data indicate that mortgage originations, which are reported on a three-month lag, came to 1.9 million loans for $434 billion during the third quarter.

Mortgage production was 1.9 million loans for $427 billion three months earlier and 2.23 million loans for $526 billion one year earlier.

“This quarter we see an interesting dynamic with seemingly contradictory data points: average mortgage debt per borrower increasing while average new account balances declined,” Mellman said. “There could be multiple factors contributing to this, including cashout refinancing increasing the average mortgage debt; the drop in refinancing share lowering average new account balances (since average refi size can be larger than average purchase size); and a change in the mix of purchase origination amounts toward lower balances.”

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