The delinquency rate on Freddie Mac guaranteed mortgages fell to 3.42% in July, the lowest level since August 2009, according to its monthly report.

The rate dropped 3 basis points from the month before and fell from the 3.59% rate measured at the beginning of the year.

The high came in February 2010 at 4.2%. It has dropped steadily since.

On a volume basis, roughly 621,000 Freddie Mac loans were in some stage of delinquency at the end of the first quarter, according to the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency numbers.

That was reduced from 687,000 one year before and a high of 858,000 at the end of 2009, the FHFA said.

Freddie purchased $32.5 billion in mortgages for securitization in July, down 26% from the previous month, according to the report.

Despite the drop, the volume is still up more than 50% from the same month one year ago, reflecting the annual increase in home sales across the country.