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Feeling Good About Housing, With Old Mortgages Being the Buzzkill

"The declines in the mortgage delinquency rate will likely be muted for the foreseeable future, as the foreclosure process in some states can take more than 1,000 days," Martin says. "It's not clear yet, but recently announced regulatory rules related to mortgage servicing may tend to slow down this process further. What is clear from the data TransUnion collects is that, until the old vintages work through the system, we expect the delinquency rate to remain elevated."

Even so, the big picture for the U.S. housing market is one of recovery, after a half-decade of misery. And that's worth raising a glass over.