Arizona homeowners have good news today on two fronts, as its home prices are rising while its share of delinquent mortgage payments improved dramatically.

• The state's home prices rose 16.8 percent in March compared with a year ago, the third-highest increase in the U.S., a survey by Core Logic, a real estate data provider, shows.

Nevada led all states with a 22.2 percent annual gain. It was followed by California at 17.2 percent, then Arizona.

Prices in Phoenix rose 18.8 percent in March from a year earlier, the largest gain of any city among the nation's biggest 100.

Nationally, home prices rose by an average of 10.5 percent, Core Logic said. Prices are rising in part because more buyers are bidding on a limited supply of homes for sale.

• Arizona led the way nationally on improving its mortgage delinquency rate in the first quarter of this year, credit-reporting agency TransUnion said.

Arizona's delinquency rate was 4.3 percent, down nearly 38 percent from the same period a year earlier, the agency said. The measure refers to the percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on their payments.

The resurgent housing market, rising home values and steady job gains are helping more homeowners stay on top of their mortgage payments. Every state and the District of Columbia posted an annual decline in the late-payment rate in the quarter.