The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one- to four-unit residential properties for the fourth quarter of 2013 dropped to its lowest level in well over five years, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

The MBA clocked the delinquency rate — the percentage of mortgages that are late by a month or more but not in foreclosure — at 6.39 percent, down 0.7 percentage points from a year earlier. That marked the lowest since the first quarter of 2008, according to the MBA.

The serious delinquency rate — the percentage of loans that are late by 90 days or more or in foreclosure — posted an even steeper year-over-year drop in the fourth quarter, falling 1.37 percentage points year over year to 5.41 percent.

“We continue to see substantial improvement in both delinquency and foreclosure rates, with most measures now back to pre-crisis levels,” said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist and senior vice president of research and industry technology at the MBA, in a statement.

Source: MBA

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