Steep Decline: 21,000 Completed U.S. Home Foreclosures in December

Steep Decline: 21,000 Completed U.S. Home Foreclosures in December

Residential News » Irvine Edition | By WPJ Staff | February 15, 2017 8:00 AM ET

National Foreclosure Inventory Down 30 Percent from December 2016

According to CoreLogic's December 2016 National Foreclosure Report, U.S. foreclosure inventory declined by 30 percent and completed foreclosures declined by 40 percent compared with December 2015. The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 36,000 in December 2015 to 21,000 in December 2016, representing a decrease of 82 percent from the peak of 118,336 in September 2010.

The foreclosure inventory represents the number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process and completed foreclosures reflect the total number of homes lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 6.5 million completed foreclosures nationally, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 8.6 million homes lost to foreclosure.

As of December 2016, the national foreclosure inventory included approximately 329,000, or 0.8 percent, of all homes with a mortgage compared with 467,000 homes, or 1.2 percent, in December 2015.

CoreLogic also reports that the number of mortgages in serious delinquency (defined as 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure or REO) declined by 19.4 percent from December 2015 to December 2016 with 1 million mortgages, or 2.6 percent, in serious delinquency, the lowest level since August 2007. The decline was geographically broad with year-over-year decreases in serious delinquency in 48 states and the District of Columbia.

"While the decline in serious delinquency has been geographically broad, some oil-producing markets have shown the effects of low oil prices on the housing market," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Serious delinquency rates rose in Louisiana, Wyoming and North Dakota, reflecting the weakness in oil production."

"Foreclosure and delinquency trends continue to head in the right direction powered principally by increasing employment levels, stringent underwriting standards and higher home prices over the past few years. We expect to see further declines in delinquency and foreclosure rates in 2017," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "As the foreclosure inventory diminishes, we must look ahead and tackle tight housing supply and growing affordability issues which are keeping many potential homebuyers, especially first-time buyers, on the sidelines."

Additional December 2016 highlights:

  • On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures declined by 8.1 percent to 21,000 in December 2016 from the 23,000 reported for November 2016. As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged about 22,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
  • On a month-over-month basis, the December 2016 foreclosure inventory fell 1.9 percent compared with November 2016.
  • The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in the 12 months ending in December 2016 were Florida (45,000), Michigan (30,000), Texas (24,000), Ohio (21,000) and California (19,000). These five states accounted for 36 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally.
  • Four states and the District of Columbia had the lowest number of completed foreclosures in the 12 months ending in December 2016: North Dakota (182), the District of Columbia (254), West Virginia (312), Montana (630) and Alaska (668).
  • Four states and the District of Columbia had the highest foreclosure inventory rate in December 2016: New Jersey (2.8 percent), New York (2.7 percent), Maine (1.8 percent), Hawaii (1.7 percent) and the District of Columbia (1.6 percent).
  • The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory rate in December 2016 were Colorado (0.2 percent), Minnesota (0.3 percent), Utah (0.3 percent), Arizona (0.3 percent) and California (0.3 percent).

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