According to CoreLogic's recently released February 2016 National Foreclosure Report, U.S. national foreclosure inventory declined by 23.9 percent and completed foreclosures declined by 10 percent compared with February 2015. The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 38,000 in February 2015 to 34,000 in February 2016. The number of completed foreclosures in February 2016 was down 71.3 percent from the peak of 117,776 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 across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 8.2 million homes lost to foreclosure.
As of February 2016, the national foreclosure inventory included approximately 434,000, or 1.1 percent, of all homes with a mortgage compared with 571,000 homes, or 1.5 percent, in February 2015. The February 2016 foreclosure inventory rate is the lowest for any month since November 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 19.9 percent from February 2015 to February 2016, with 1.3 million mortgages, or 3.2 percent, in this category. The February 2016 serious delinquency rate is the lowest in eight years, since November 2007.
"Job creation averaged 207,000 during the first two months of 2016, and incomes grew over the past year," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "More income and improved household finances 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 price declines for the energy fuel each produces."
"Home price gains have clearly been a driving force in building positive equity for homeowners," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Longer term, we anticipate a better balance of supply with demand in many markets which will help sustain healthy and affordable home values into the future."
Additional February 2016 highlights:
On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures decreased by 13.9 percent to 34,000 in February 2016 from the 39,000 reported for January 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 2.6 percent in February 2016 compared to January 2016.
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in February 2016 were Florida (72,000), Michigan (49,000), Texas (29,000), California (25,000) and Ohio (23,000). These five states accounted for almost half 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 February 2016: The District of Columbia (113), North Dakota (312), Wyoming (574), West Virginia (627) and Alaska (682).
Four states and the District of Columbia had the highest foreclosure inventory rates in February 2016: New Jersey (4.0 percent), New York (3.4 percent), Hawaii (2.3 percent), Florida (2.2 percent) and the District of Columbia (2.2 percent).
The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory rate in February 2016 were Alaska (0.3 percent), Minnesota (0.4 percent), Arizona (0.4 percent), Colorado (0.4 percent) and Utah (0.4 percent).