While completed foreclosures continued
to drop in September, CoreLogic's National
Foreclosure Report points out that they are still nearly triple what could be
considered the typical level prior to 2006.
According to the report released on Wednesday, there were 57,000
completed foreclosures across the country in September, down from 59,000 in
August (-3.4 percent) and 83,000 in September 2011 (-31.3 percent.) In the period between 2001 and 2006 completed
foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month.
Since the financial crisis began in September 2008 there have been
approximately 3.9 million foreclosures completed nationwide.
The three-month moving average of
completed foreclosures is continuing to increase in those states using a
judicial foreclosure process but it has leveled off at a much lower level in
Largely due to a backlog in judicial
states the foreclosure inventory is dwindling more slowly than the number of
completed foreclosures. There were approximately
1.4 million homes in some stage of foreclosure in September compared to 1.5
million a year earlier and September's number was down 1.1 percent from
August. The September foreclosure
inventory represents 3.3 percent of all homes in the U.S. with a mortgage while
a year earlier it represented 3.5 percent.
"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
"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
Completed foreclosures were highest
in California (108,000), Florida (92,000), Texas (59,000) Georgia (55,000) and
Michigan (51,000). These five states
account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
Florida had by far the highest
foreclosure inventory on a percentage basis at 11.5 percent followed by New
Jersey (7.3 percent), New York (5.3 percent), Illinois (5.2 percent), and
Nevada (4.9 percent). Nevada is the only non-judicial foreclosure state among
the top five.