National mortgage delinquency rate registers decline

Real Estate Watch

September 28, 1997

After two straight quarters of increases, the national mortgage delinquency rate declined, according to statistics released by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.

MBA's survey, which covers approximately a third of all residential mortgages, showed that the overall seasonally adjusted rate on one- to four-unit homes was down to 4.24 percent from 4.36 percent in the first quarter of 1997.

Maryland's delinquency rate was higher than the national average at 4.77 percent in the second quarter.

Regionally, the West experienced the largest delinquency drop -- losing almost a quarter -- to end the second quarter at 3.53.

The North Central states were at 3.85 percent; the Northeast was at 4.25 percent; the South at 4.97 percent.

"A healthy economy and relatively low interest rates provided a favorable backdrop for the delinquency situation in the second quarter," said David Lereah, MBA's chief economist. "However, going forward, a moderation in economic growth and slightly higher interest rates could curtail further improvement in delinquency rates for the rest of the year."

Nationally, the delinquency rate fell when broken down by loan types. The rate for conventional loans was 2.76 percent; 6.87 for Veterans Affairs loans; and 7.94 for Federal Housing Administration loans.

As for Maryland, the delinquency rate for conventional loans dropped to 2.57 percent; VA loans dropped to 7.87 percent; and FHA loans fell to 8.68 percent.

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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