The U.S. inventory of delinquent mortgages has registered significant improvement for the fourth consecutive year, according to the year-end Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight Financial Services. And 2013 was the second consecutive year of significant improvement for borrowers in foreclosure. Delinquencies were just 1.5 times their pre-crisis average, while foreclosures were down to 4.6 times their pre-crisis levels.
"Delinquencies neared pre-crisis levels, foreclosure inventory declined 30 percent over the year, new problem loan rates improved in both judicial and non-judicial foreclosure states, and foreclosure starts ended the year at the lowest level since April 2007," said Herb Blecher, senior vice president of the firm's Data & Analytics division. Also, 2013 was the best year for property sales since 2007; and 2013 originations have weighed in as the best-performing loans on record, due to stringent underwriting.
However, higher interest rates helped reduce monthly originations to the lowest level since 2008 and seemed to bring an end to the refinancing boomlet.