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U.S. Foreclosures Down 19 Percent in February

U.S. Foreclosures Down 19 Percent in February


The number of foreclosures completed in the United States fell 19 percent in February from a year earlier, providing further evidence that fewer homeowners are defaulting on their loans.

The 54,000 foreclosures in February were down from 67,000 in February 2012, and a 7 percent decrease from January, according to a report from CoreLogic released today. About 1.2 million homes are in "some stage of foreclosure," a 21 percent drop from a year ago, the firm says.

February represented the 16th straight month with a year-over-year decline in completed foreclosures.

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Mark Fleming

"February's 54,000 completed foreclosures is the lowest level nationally since September 2007, with most major metropolitan areas experiencing improvements," said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Even the major Florida markets are benefiting with the foreclosure inventories falling the fastest in major metropolitan areas, although from a very high level."

The numbers are still far higher than the pre-crash era. Prior to 2007, completed foreclosures typically averaged 21,000 per month, CoreLogic says. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been about 4.2 million completed foreclosures across the country, the firm said.

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in February 2013 were Florida, California, Michigan, Texas and Georgia, which accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally, CoreLogic reports.

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