The share for fixed rate loans, however, has decreased 69 basis points year-over-year to 57.7%. The share of adjustable rate mortgages decreased by 43 basis points to 14.9% as of Dec. 31, 2017. Conversely, balloon/hybrid increased their share by 112 basis points to 27.4% at year-end.
Credit unions in every NCUA region held more than 50% of their first mortgage loans as fixed-rate loans. Credit unions in the Mid-Atlantic Region held the highest percentage of fixed-rate loans, 65.1%. Credit unions in the Central Region followed with 58.1%. The Western, New England, and Southeast regions followed with 57.3%, 55.1%, and 52.3%, respectively.
The Western NCUA region held the largest share of balloon/hybrid first mortgage loans, 36.6%.
The average first mortgage balance increased 4.0% year-over-year to $146,981 as of Dec. 31, 2017. As the average balance has increased, so, too, has first mortgage penetration. As of fourth quarter, the average first mortgage penetration rate was 2.39%, up 4 basis points year-over-year. Credit unions with $100 million to $250 million in assets had the highest first mortgage penetration rate, 2.63%. That was 12 basis points higher than credit unions with more than $1 billion in assets.
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Credit unions with $100 million to $250 million in assets reported an average first mortgage penetration rate of 2.63%, which is 24 basis points higher than the industry average.
Total real estate delinquency has continued to drop and was down 1 basis point from year-end 2016. Over the past five years, real estate delinquency has dropped 78 basis points, from 1.39% in Dec. 31, 2012, to 0.61% in Dec. 31, 2017.
Asset quality for first mortgage loans also has continued to improve. First mortgage delinquency dropped to 0.62% in the fourth quarter of 2017, down 1 basis point from 2016 and the lowest level since fourth quarter 2007. The first mortgage net charge-off rate also improved. It decreased 2 basis points year-over-year to 0.03% as of Dec. 31.
Real estate asset quality improved in 2017 and was down 1 basis point at year-end.
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