Delinquency rate on mortgages falls to 4.23% in 4th quarter

March 20, 2005|By Bloomberg News

The number of homeowners making late payments on their mortgages fell in the fourth quarter as an expanding economy created more jobs.

The seasonally adjusted delinquency rate, the share of payments more than 30 days late, fell to 4.23 percent from 4.41 percent in the third quarter, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a report Thursday. The decline was driven by a drop in loans 30 to 59 days overdue, to 2.71 percent from 2.85 percent.

An improvement in the labor market meant more people could pay their mortgages on time and gave others the chance to refinance their home loans at better terms, reducing monthly payments, MBA chief economist Doug Duncan said. Most lenders won't approve mortgage applications from homeowners who don't have jobs.

The inventory of homes in foreclosure fell to 1.12 percent from 1.14 percent, the Washington trade group said.

- Bloomberg News

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