Study finds fewer homeowners heading for foreclosure

Housing statistics gradually improvingCredit demand and the rate of delinquency in mortgage loans fell off at the end of 2010, according to TransUnion, marking the fourth consecutive quarter in which those statistics moved in a positive direction.

However, a slowdown in the rate at which delinquency rates dropped is a concern, according to TransUnion group vice president of the U.S. housing market Tim Martin.

"Although the increase in January's consumer confidence index is good news for the consumer as well as the fourth quarter GDP number of 3.2 percent, real estate prices …. have been consistently falling since the end of second quarter. What we hoped was a temporary third quarter price adjustment due to the ending of the home buyer tax credit appears now to be more systemic," he said.

For those interested in Houston real estate, it may be encouraging to learn that TransUnion's data shows the state delinquency rate at 5.19 percent, below the national average of 6.44 percent.

The continued stabilization of the market, overall, must still be considered good news for real estate professionals, other analysts say.

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