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The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 3.56% by the end of the first quarter of this year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey. This represented a 40-basis-point drop from the previous quarter and a 55-basis-point year-over-year decline.

“The mortgage delinquency rate fell to its lowest level for any first quarter since MBA’s survey began in 1979 and was the second lowest quarterly rate overall, just 11 basis points above the survey low in the third quarter of 2022,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s vice president of industry analysis. “Mortgage delinquencies and the unemployment rate continue to track each other closely, with the unemployment rate in April falling back to the 54-year low of 3.4% set in January.”

The percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions were started in the first quarter rose by 2 basis points to 0.16%. By loan type, the total delinquency rate for conventional loans decreased 34 basis points to 2.44% over the previous quarter while the FHA delinquency rate decreased 134 basis points to 9.27% and the VA delinquency rate decreased by 18 basis points to 3.98%.

“Consistent with the resilient job market, the performance of existing mortgages is exceeding expectations. Across all states, there was an improvement in the first quarter compared to one year ago,” added Walsh. “Year-over-year delinquencies for all product types – FHA, VA, and conventional – were also down.”