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A rainbow is seen in the distance behind a real estate sign July 27, 2012, in a community of townhomes in Centreville, Va. - 

Today the credit rating agency Trans Union said late payments on mortgages have reached the lowest level in three years. About 5.5 percent are still paying late -- by two months or more -- but that's the best since the beginning of 2009, just after the recession hit.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, says this is good news because it means fewer homeowners are getting into trouble in the first place.

"The best news is that the number of loans that are in what's called early delinquency -- 30 day delinquent, 60 day delinquent, even 90 day delinquent -- has fallen very sharply," Zandi points out. "So that means in the future there will be fewer foreclosures, so we're moving in the right direction."

In addition, the data research firm Core Logic found that housing prices were up last quarter. The mortgage giant Freddie Mac came out with similar results when it comes to housing prices, saying that it is the biggest jump in prices since 2004.



Follow Eve Troeh at @evetroeh