CoreLogic presented more evidence today
that the foreclosure epidemic in the U.S., while still a serious concern, is
rapidly improving. There were 56,000
completed foreclosures in the U.S. in December compared to 71,000 in December
2011, a decrease of 21 percent and there were 2,000 fewer foreclosures in
December than in November. As a point of
reference there were an average of 21,000 foreclosures completed each month in
what might be considered a "normal" period from 2000 to 2006, CoreLogic said.
During 2012 there were 767,446 completed foreclosures or
one in every 53 active mortgages in the country compared to 830,000 completed foreclosures
in 2011. Since the financial crisis
began in September 2008 there have been approximately 4.1 million homes lost to
The foreclosure inventory is also
declining rapidly. This measure of the
number of homes in some stage of foreclosure declined 19.5 percent year over
year, from 1.5 million in December 2011 to 1.2 million. Month over month, the national foreclosure
inventory was down 4.2 percent and at the end of December represented 3 percent
of all homes with a mortgage.
"The most encouraging
foreclosure trend reported here is that the inventory of foreclosed properties
is almost 20 percent smaller than a year ago," said Mark Fleming, chief
economist for CoreLogic. "This big improvement indicates we are working
toward resolving the backlog of the most distressed assets in the shadow
"The rate of foreclosures
continues to trend down, albeit at a slower rate as we exit 2012," said
Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "This trend should
continue into 2013 and is another positive signal that the gradual healing
process in the housing market is gaining traction."
Five states accounted for almost
half of all completed foreclosures in the country. Over the 12 months that ended in December
California had 100,000, Florida 98,000, Michigan 74,000, Texas 57,000 and
The five states with the highest
foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida
(10.1 percent), New Jersey (7.0 percent), New York (5.1 percent), Nevada (4.7
percent) and Illinois (4.5 percent).
It is interesting to note that all
of the top five states for completed foreclosures except Florida are
non-judicial foreclosure states while all of the states with the largest
inventories except Nevada use primarily a judicial foreclosure process.