National Foreclosure Inventory Down 23.2 Percent Annually
According to CoreLogic's March 2016 National Foreclosure Report, the foreclosure inventory declined by 23.2 percent and completed foreclosures declined by 14.9 percent compared with March 2015. The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 42,000 in March 2015 to 36,000 in March 2016, representing a decrease of 69.7 percent from the peak of 117,782 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 6.2 million completed foreclosures nationally, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 8.2 million homes lost to foreclosure.
As of March 2016, the national foreclosure inventory included approximately 427,000, or 1.1 percent, of all homes with a mortgage compared with 556,000 homes, or 1.4 percent, in March 2015. The March 2016 foreclosure inventory rate is the lowest for any month since October 2007.
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 19.1 percent from March 2015 to March 2016, with 1.2 million mortgages, or 3.1 percent, in this category. The March 2016 serious delinquency rate is the lowest in more than eight years, since November 2007.
"Nationally, the economy added 609,000 jobs during the first three months of 2016, and average weekly earnings grew 2 percent over the past year," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Job and earnings growth have helped bring serious delinquency rates down in nearly every state. However, serious delinquency rates increased in North Dakota and West Virginia, two states affected by the drop in demand for the fuel each produces."
"Delinquencies and foreclosure rates are now at pre-crash levels as the benefits of higher home prices, improving economic fundamentals and years of cautious underwriting are being felt across the country," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Longer term, as loans made since 2009 account for a larger share of outstanding debt, we anticipate that the serious delinquency rate will have further substantive declines."
Additional March 2016 highlights:
On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures increased by 9.3 percent to 36,000 in March 2016 from the 33,000 reported for February 2016. As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
On a month-over-month basis, the foreclosure inventory was down 2.2 percent in March 2016 compared with February 2016.
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2016 were Florida (69,000), Michigan (48,000), Texas (28,000), Georgia (23,000) and California (23,000). These five states accounted for about 41 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally.
Four states and the District of Columbia had the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2016: The District of Columbia (114), North Dakota (311), West Virginia (541), Wyoming (634) and Alaska (644).
Four states and the District of Columbia had the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes in March 2016: New Jersey (4.0 percent), New York (3.3 percent), Hawaii (2.3 percent), the District of Columbia (2.2 percent) and Florida (2.1 percent).
The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory rate in March 2016 were Alaska (0.3 percent), Minnesota (0.4 percent), Arizona (0.4 percent), Colorado (0.4 percent) and Utah (0.4 percent).