Mortgage delinquencies for U.S. homes in the first quarter of 2008 jumped 53 basis points from the previous quarter to 6.35% of all loans outstanding, marking a 29-year high, according to the MBA's National Delinquency Survey released Thursday.

From one year ago, delinquency rates have risen 151 basis points.

This is the highest rate ever recorded in the index, which began in 1979. The previous high was 6.07% in 1985.

New foreclosure starts rose to 0.99%, up from 0.83% in the previous quarter, and up from 0.58% a year ago. Starts from subprime loans rose to 4.06% in the quarter, up from 3.44% in the previous quarter.

"The magnitude of the national increases is clearly driven by certain loan types and certain states," said Jay Brinkmann, vice president for research and economics at MBA. He added that the increase in foreclosures was led by states that have seen the biggest price declines over the past two years.

The total rate of delinquencies for prime rates rose to 3.71% from 3.24% in the previous quarter. One year ago, the rate was 2.58%.

The total rate of delinquencies for subprime rates rose to 18.79% from 17.31% in the previous quarter. One year ago, the rate was 13.77%.

Total foreclosures rose to a record high at 2.47% in the first quarter, up from 2.04% from the previous quarter and from 1.28% from Q1 2007.

Minutes after the release, Ian Lyngen from RBS Greenwich Capital said, "The market is not doing a great deal with the release, instead trading lower on the day, with the 2s/10s curve slightly flatter at 151.6 bp."

The MBA report is based on a sample of more than 44 million mortgage loans serviced by mortgage companies, commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions and others.

By Patrick McGee