The national foreclosure inventory, homes somewhere in the process of foreclosure, along with other measures of housing distress, continued to decline in April. CoreLogic said today that there were 406,000 homes in the inventory in April, 1.1 percent of all homes in the country with a mortgage. This is down from 530,000 or 1.4 percent a year earlier and a 3 percent decline from March. It is the lowest rate for any month since September 2007.
Completed foreclosures were down 15.8 percent compared with April 2015, decreasing from 43,000 to 37,000. At the peak of foreclosure activity in September 2010 there were 117,813 homes repossessed by lenders and the most recent number represents a drop of 68.9 percent from that peak. As a basis of comparison completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
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 21.6 percent from April 2015 to April 2016, with 1.1 million mortgages, or 3 percent now considered seriously delinquent, the lowest rate in more than eight years.
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in April were Florida (66,000), Michigan (47,000), Texas (27,000), Ohio (23,000) and California (23,000). These five states accounted for about 40 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally. The highest foreclosure inventory rates were in New Jersey (3.7 percent), New York (3.2 percent), Hawaii (2.2 percent), the District of Columbia (2.1 percent) and Florida (2 percent).
"The recovery in home prices and improved labor market have contributed to the drop in seriously delinquent rates," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. "Over the 12 months through April, the CoreLogic Home Price Index for the U.S. rose 6.2 percent and the labor market gained 2.6 million jobs. We also found that the seriously delinquent rate fell by about three-quarters of a percentage point."
"The number of homeowners who have negative equity has fallen by two-thirds since its 2010 peak, and the number of borrowers in foreclosure proceedings has also continued to drop," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Despite this progress, about four million homeowners remained underwater at the end of the first quarter, and these borrowers are more vulnerable to foreclosure proceedings if they should fall delinquent."
Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 6.2 million completed foreclosures nationally, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 8.3 million homes lost to foreclosure.