US mortgage delinquency rates have been increasing since February as coronavirus continues to impact the US economy and especially unemployment rates. The Seattle mortgage delinquency rate appears to show that Seattlelites have been particularly impacted as the number of households behind on their mortgage increased 11.4% month over month, as compared to the national average of 3.3% reported Black Knight.
While such a drastic increase in the Seattle mortgage delinquency rate would seem to foreshadow a treacherous future for the local housing market it needs to be analyzed in a broader context. The data also shows that homeowners in the State of Washington, and in particular Seattle have some of the lowest delinquency rates in the country. 1.62% of all homes are delinquent on their mortgage, compared to the national average of 3.39%. These numbers remain close to record lows despite the recent increase.
It is also interesting to note that fewer people are applying for mortgages. In Washington, this number is down 36.9% compared to data in April 2019. Again context is helpful as this number was actually an improvement on a recent 45.8% comparative decrease. While it is still more challenging for buyers to secure financing, it isn’t relating into a lack of interest in available inventory. With showing restrictions on listed properties in place and appointments required to tour, brokers at Windermere are agreeing that it can be difficult to get our clients into newly listed homes as tours get booked quickly.
It remains to be seen what the long term implication of the hit to the economy will mean to Seattle real estate. For now, it seems as though demand, while dwindled, remains high and its more a matter of finding solutions to get deals signed than finding buyers. If you would like to stay on top of the local market, I will be updating my Seattle Real Estate Market Trends on my website as data comes in, both on a Metro Seattle level and per MLS region. If you would like email updates please subscribe here.