Foreclosure completions accelerated in January, rising 11.8 percent to 48,000 compared to 43,000 in December.   CoreLogic's January National Foreclosure Report says this is a 19 percent improvement over January 2013 when 59,000 homes were lost to foreclosure.

Since the housing crisis began CoreLogic estimates that there have been approximately 4.9 million completed foreclosures nationwide, a rough average of 68,000 per month (January 2008-December 2013.)  The company offers as context that completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.



From January 2013 to January 2014 the number of homes in some stage of foreclosure, the foreclosure inventory, declined by one-third, falling from 1.2 million to 794,000.  The current inventory represents about 2.0 percent of all mortgaged homes, down from 2.9 percent a year earlier, the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year declines.  The January inventory is 3.3 percent below the December level.



About half of all the nation's completed foreclosures over the 12 months ending in January were in five large states, Florida (116,000), Michigan (52,000), Texas (39,000), California (38,000) and Georgia (35,000).  The largest foreclosure inventories as a percent of mortgaged homes were in Florida (6.4 percent), New Jersey (6.3 percent), New York (4.8 percent), Connecticut (3.4 percent) and Maine (3.4 percent).

Corelogic says the national delinquency rate now stands at 5.0 percent and all but six of the 27 non-judicial foreclosure states*, (Nevada, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Rhode Island, and Arkansas) have rates below that figure.  However, of the 24 states using the judicial foreclosure process 12 have rates above the national average and two, Florida and New Jersey, have more than double that rate.

"We are recovering, but we're not there yet," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "For every completed foreclosure, there are 954 mortgaged homes in non-judicial foreclosure states and 896 mortgaged homes in judicial foreclosure states. Although this is a big improvement relative to the height of the foreclosure crisis, a healthier ratio would be one for every 2000."

"The painful tide of high foreclosures continues to recede as fewer borrowers are losing their homes and states are working through their shadow inventory," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "We are entering 2014 with less than a million homes in the foreclosure inventory. We expect to see continued progress in the months ahead, but the judicial foreclosure states will continue to lag the rest of the country in working down their backlogs of foreclosed properties."

*Including the District of Columbia