Completed foreclosures plunged 68 percent in September from a year ago yet the national foreclosure inventory hardly budged in 12 months, according to the latest CoreLogic report.
There were 57,000 completed foreclosures last month, down from 83,000 in September 2011 and 59,000 in August. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.
Slower processing contributed to a continued high level of foreclosure inventory. Some 1.4 million homes, or 3.3 percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of September compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent, in September 2011. Month-over-month, the national foreclosure inventory was down 1.1 percent from August to September. The foreclosure inventory is the share of all mortgaged homes in any stage of the foreclosure process.
“The continuing downward trend in foreclosures along with a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory are signs of stabilization and improvement in the housing market,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Increasingly improving market conditions and industry and government policy are allowing distressed homeowners to pursue refinancing, loan modifications or short sales rather than foreclosures.”
“Homes lost to foreclosure in September 2012 are down 50 percent since the peak month in September 2010 and 22 percent less than the beginning of the year,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While there is significant progress to be made before returning to pre-crisis levels, the trend is in the right direction as short sales, up 27 percent year over year in August, continue to gain popularity.”
- The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2012 were: California (108,000), Florida (92,000), Texas (59,000), Georgia (55,000) and Michigan (51,000). These five states account for 47.7 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally.
- The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2012 were: South Dakota (20), District of Columbia (58), Hawaii (436), North Dakota (583) and Maine (625).
- The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (11.5 percent), New Jersey (7.3 percent), New York (5.3 percent), Illinois (5.2 percent) and Nevada (4.9 percent).
- The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.5 percent), Alaska (0.7 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.9 percent) and South Dakota (1.1 percent).
*August data was revised. Revisions are standard, and to ensure accuracy CoreLogic incorporates newly released data to provide updated results.