Locally based CoreLogic's report shows that the quality of the rental applicant pool is improving.<@SM>Comparing 4Q 2012 to 4Q 2011 and 4Q 2010, the number of better rental applicants has increased each year. *Chart courtesy of CoreLogic.

(Save the dates:  RealShare Apartments East comes to theHyatt Regency in Miami, FL, on February 26, and RealShare Los Angeles comes to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, CA, on March 27.)

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IRVINE, CA-The credit and financial quality of multifamily renters across the country continues to improve—a positive statement about the economy in general, according to a report by CoreLogic, a leading residential-property information, analytics and services provider. The firm’s fourth-quarter 2012 rental-applicant risk-index report shows that risk of default among renters nationwide decreased year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to data in the firm’s 2012 SafeRent Renter Applicant Risk Index Report—which provides market-based benchmarks for evaluating credit quality and risk of default for renters applying for apartment homes in multifamily housing units, as well as data from single-family rentals—the risk of default among renters across the country decreased year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2012 with an index value of 103 compared to the fourth quarter of 2011 with an index value of 101.

On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the risk of default increased in the fourth quarter 2012, compared to the third quarter of 2012 when the index value was 106. The increased risk from the third quarter to the fourth quarter of 2012 reflects a riskier applicant pool that is typically in seasonally slower periods of applicant traffic.

“In the fourth quarter, you typically have low numbers of rental applicants in the market,” Jay Harris, senior director of CoreLogic SafeRent, explains to GlobeSt.com. “It’s also a time when you don’t have the best applicants in the market—the best come out in spring in greater numbers. So in looking at these numbers, we’re looking at the prior four quarters for comparison.”

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For the complete report, click here.

Read our update to this story later today to find out what the report findings suggest about the economy as a whole.