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Daily Real Estate News  |  April 28, 2011  |   Home Vacancies, Mortgage Delinquencies Drop
Mortgage delinquencies on single-family homes continued to inch down in March, as did first-quarter home-owner vacancies, two government agencies report this week.

For the fourth straight month, mortgage delinquencies dropped in March as delinquencies on single-family homes fell to 3.63 percent last month compared to 3.78 percent in February, Freddie Mac reports.

Meanwhile, the percentage of empty homes dropped in the first three months of the year, although overall vacancies remain high.

The first-quarter home-owner vacancy rate fell to 2.6 percent from 2.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to the Commerce Department.

The residential rental vacancy rate increased to 9.7 percent in the first quarter, compared to 9.4 percent in the prior quarter.

The highest vacancy rates for the first quarter were found in the South at 2.8 percent, followed by the Midwest with 2.7 percent.

"Overall vacancies are still pretty close to their all-time high, so there is still a lot of excess supply out there," says Mike Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JP Morgan Chase.

Source: “Freddie Mac: Mortgage Delinquencies Decline Again in March,” Dow Jones Business News (April 26, 2011) and “First Quarter Home Owner Vacancy Rate Falls to 2.6 pct,” Reuters News (April 27, 2011)

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