The number of home owners behind on their mortgage payments dropped to the lowest level in three years, according to a report of data from the fourth quarter of 2011 released by the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Mortgage performance is also improving faster than the overall economy," says Jay Brinkmann, MBA's chief economist.
According to MBA, 7.6 percent of residential mortgages were at least 30 days past due on their payments in the fourth quarter of 2011. Last year, the percentage was 8.3, and the peak of 10 percent was reached in early 2010. Mortgage delinquencies usually hover around 5 percent in more stable markets.
Still, while the lower delinquencies serve as an important sign needed for a healing housing market, MBA still caution that the number of loans in foreclosure remains high. About 4.4 percent of all loans were in foreclosure in the fourth quarter. The peak reached one year earlier was 4.6 percent.
Source: “Mortgage Delinquencies Hit Three-Year Low,” The Wall Street Journal (Feb. 16, 2012)