U.S. Foreclosure Inventory Down 33 Percent

U.S. Foreclosure Inventory Down 33 Percent

Residential News » North America Residential News Edition | By WPJ Staff | February 27, 2014 10:08 AM ET

The number of foreclosed homes in the U.S. dropped 19 percent in January, compared to a year ago, according to CoreLogic. 

A total of 48,000 homes were foreclosed in January, down from 59,000 a year ago. On a monthly basis, however, foreclosures increased 11.8 percent from the 43,000 reported in December

Before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. 

"We are recovering, but we're not there yet," Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in the report. "For every completed foreclosure, there are 954 mortgaged homes in non-judicial foreclosure states and 896 mortgaged homes in judicial foreclosure states. Although this is a big improvement relative to the height of the foreclosure crisis, a healthier ratio would be one for every 2000."

A report earlier this month from RealtyTrac also showed a continued drop in foreclosure activity. However, the momentum seems to be slowing as the annual decline was the smallest drop since September 2012. 

As of last month, approximately 794,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure in the U.S., compared to 1.2 million a year ago, marking a 33 percent decrease in the country's foreclosure inventory. The foreclosure inventory dropped 3.3 percent from December, representing the 27th month of yearly declines. 

The foreclosure inventory represented 2.0 percent of all homes with a mortgage in January, compared to 2.9 percent a year ago. 

"The painful tide of high foreclosures continues to recede as fewer borrowers are losing their homes and states are working through their shadow inventory," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "We are entering 2014 with less than a million homes in the foreclosure inventory. We expect to see continued progress in the months ahead, but the judicial foreclosure states will continue to lag the rest of the country in working down their backlogs of foreclosed properties."

More from the report:

  • The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in January 2014 were Florida (116,000), Michigan (52,000), Texas (39,000), California (38,000) and Georgia (35,000).These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
  • The five states (including the District of Columbia) with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in January 2014 were District of Columbia (60), North Dakota (427), Hawaii (526), West Virginia (543) and Wyoming (732).
  • The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Florida (6.4 percent), New Jersey (6.3 percent), New York (4.8 percent), Connecticut (3.4 percent) and Maine (3.4 percent).
  • The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.5 percent), North Dakota (0.6 percent), Colorado (0.5 percent) and Nebraska (0.6 percent).

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