Mortgage Delinquencies Fall to Lowest Level in 5 Years

The single-family mortgage delinquency rate has been declining for eight straight quarters and it ended 2013 at the lowest level since 2008.

TransUnion reported Tuesday that the percentage of homeowners who are at least two months behind on their mortgage payments fell to 3.85% in the fourth quarter from 4.09% in the prior quarter and 5.08% a year earlier.

This marks the first time since 2008 that the percentage of loans that are 60 days or more past due dipped below 4%.

ďItís encouraging to see the mortgage delinquency rate drop for two consecutive years, but at the same time, mortgage delinquencies continue to be twice as high as levels observed prior to the housing bubble,Ē said Steve Chaouki, head of financial services for TransUnion.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia experienced a decline in their delinquency rates from the fourth quarter of 2012 through the fourth quarter of 2013.

The biggest declines were in Sun Belt states that were hit particularly hard by the housing bust but have recently shown signs of a recovery. In Arizona, 60-day delinquencies fell to 3.14%, from 5.11% a year earlier; in Nevada they fell from 9.98% to 6.52%; and in California they fell from 4.92% to 3.06%.

Florida remains the state with the highest 60-day delinquency rate, at 8.18%. Still, thatís down from 12.02% in December 2012 and 9.11% three months earlier.

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