Mortgage delinquencies posted significant declines at the end of 2012, signaling that distress in the housing market is diminishing just as prices rebound and demand surges.
The national delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one- to four-unit properties fell to 7.09%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Assn. That was the lowest level since 2008. It was also a decline from 7.40% the prior quarter and 7.58% during the same period a year prior.
“We are seeing large improvements in mortgage performance nationally and in almost every state,” said Jay Brinkmann, chief economist for the mortgage bankers group. “With fewer new delinquencies, the foreclosure start rate and foreclosure inventory rates continue to fall and are at their lowest levels since 2007 and 2008 respectively.”
The number of loans that were seriously delinquent — those gone more than three months without a payment or in the process of foreclosures — dropped to 6.78%, down from 7.03% the prior quarter and 7.73% during the same period a year prior.