The percentage of homeowners behind on their mortgage fell to the lowest level since 2008, with a decrease in 90-plus delinquencies driving the improvement, according to a report from the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA).[IMAGE]
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the national mortgage delinquency rate on one-to-four unit residences stood at 6.96 percent in the second quarter, a decrease from 7.25 percent in the first quarter and 7.58 percent a year ago. Delinquent loans that were 90 days or more past due saw the biggest improvement, falling to 2.65 percent compared to 2.88 percent in the previous quarter and 3.19 percent last year.
""For most of the country, delinquencies and foreclosures have returned to more normal historical levels,"" said Jay Brinkmann, MBA's chief economist and SVP of research and economics.
Foreclosures starts were down to 0.64 percent in the second quarter compared to 0.70 percent in the prior[COLUMN_BREAK]
quarter and 0.96 percent last year. The second quarter figure represents the lowest level since the first quarter of 2007.
Meanwhile, the share of loans in foreclosure inventory decreased to 3.33 percent, down from 3.55 percent in the first quarter and down significantly from 4.27 percent a year ago.
The serious delinquency rate, which includes 90-plus delinquencies and foreclosures, plunged 145 basis points from last year to 5.88 percent in the second quarter.
While delinquency rates were down across the different loan categories, FHA loans were the exception. According to the MBA, FHA's 30-day delinquency rate rose to 5.24 percent from 4.98 percent in the previous quarter.
When observing performance by state, the MBA found judicial states held a foreclosure inventory rate of 5.59 percent, triple the rate of 1.86 for non-judicial states. However, foreclosure inventory in judicial states is still at the lowest since 2009, while non-judicial states hit the lowest point since 2007.
Florida maintained the title of having the highest percentage of loans in foreclosure, though the state has made significant progress.
""[W]hile 10 percent of the mortgages in Florida are somewhere in the process of foreclosure, this is down considerably from the high of 14.5 percent two years ago. While Florida leads the country in the rate of foreclosures started, that rate of 1.1 percent is the lowest since mid-2007 and half of what it was three years ago,"" Brinkman added.
The share of loans in foreclosure was also high New York and New Jersey, where the rates were 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively.