Mortgage borrowers in the United States who are 60 or more days late on their monthly payments dropped to 6.19 percent for the first quarter in 2011, according to data released by the credit bureau of TransUnion.
This score is down from 6.41 percent at the end of 2010, marking the fifth straight quarter that the TransUnion reported an improvement in the national delinquency rate.
Florida marked the highest delinquency rate during the first three months of 2011 at 14.37 percent. The states with the lowest delinquency rates were primarily in the Midwest, with North Dakota being the lowest at 1.54 percent.
At the national level, mortgage borrower delinquency is down approximately 8.6 percent from the first quarter in 2010, according the TransUnion analysis. On a more particular level, 68 percent of metropolitan statistical areas (including the Miami metropolitan area) in the U.S. experienced an improvement in mortgage delinquency rates compared to only 44 percent last quarter.
Mortgage delinquency rates were expected to slow in their decline as home prices declined further during the first quarter of 2011, according to the TranUnion analysis.
“Decreasing home prices can be risky because they exert upward pressure on mortgage delinquency rates,” said U.S. housing market group vice president for TransUnion, Tim Martin, to DSNews.com. “The fact that mortgage delinquency continues to decline despite this situation demonstrates that today’s borrowers are less risky.”
TransUnion anticipates that mortgage borrower delinquency rates will continue their trend downward for the remainder of 2011, as improving economic conditions and stricter lending standards offset lower home prices.
“Until consumer confidence improves, and housing prices stabilize, demand for real estate credit will continue to remain sluggish,” Martin said.
The average mortgage debt per borrower in the U.S. was $190,115 during the first quarter, up 0.6 percent from the previous quarter’s $189,046, according to the TransUnion analysis.