CoreLogic has released its National Foreclosure Report for March 2012, which provides monthly data on completed foreclosures, foreclosure inventory and 90-plus day delinquency rates. There were 69,000 completed foreclosures in March 2012 compared to 85,000 in March 2011 and 66,000 in February 2012. Through the first quarter of 2012, there were 198,000 completed foreclosures compared to 232,000 through the first quarter of 2011. Since the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.5 million completed foreclosures.
Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of March 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent, in March 2011 and 1.4 million, or 3.4 percent, in February 2012. The number of loans in the foreclosure inventory decreased by nearly 100,000, or 6.0 percent, in March 2012 compared to March 2011.
“The overall delinquency level was unchanged in March, remaining at its lowest point since July 2009,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Non-judicial foreclosure markets like Nevada, Arizona and California are experiencing significant improvements in their shares of delinquent borrowers. Some judicial foreclosure states are also improving, like Florida, but not to the extent of non-judicial markets.”
The share of borrowers nationally that were more than 90 days late on their mortgage payment, including homes in foreclosure and real estate-owned (REO) assets, fell to seven percent in March 2012 from 7.5 percent in March 2011, and remained unchanged from seven percent in February 2012.
Also in March, the inventory of REO assets held by servicers nationwide grew more slowly than the pace of REO sales, as measured by the distressed clearing ratio. The distressed clearing ratio is calculated by dividing the number of REO sales by the number of completed foreclosures. The higher the distressed clearing ratio, the faster the pace of REO sales relative to the pace of completed foreclosures. The distressed clearing ratio for March 2012 was 0.81, up from 0.76 in February 2012.
“Compared to a year ago, the number of completed foreclosures has slowed,” said Anand Nallathambi, chief executive officer of CoreLogic. “Since the foreclosure inventory is also coming down, this suggests that loan modifications, short sales, deeds-in-lieu are increasingly being used as an alternative to foreclosures to clear distressed assets in our communities. This is what was envisioned with the recent National Foreclosure Settlement, and can often be a better outcome for both borrowers and investors.”
Highlights as of CoreLogic's March 2012 findings:
►The five states with the largest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2012 were: California (150,000), Florida (92,000), Michigan (62,000), Arizona (58,000) and Texas (57,000). These five states account for 49.1 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally.
►The percent of homeowners nationally who were more than 90 days late on their mortgage payments, including homes in foreclosure and REO, was seven percent for March 2012 compared to 7.5 percent for March 2011, and seven percent in February 2012.
►The five states with the highest foreclosure rates were: Florida (12.1 percent), New Jersey (6.6 percent), Illinois (5.4 percent), Nevada (4.9 percent) and New York (4.9 percent).
►The five states with the lowest foreclosure rates were: Wyoming (0.7 percent), Alaska (0.8 percent), North Dakota (0.8 percent), Nebraska (1.1 percent) and South Dakota (1.4 percent).
►Of the top 100 markets, measured by Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) population, 35 are showing an increase in the year-over-year foreclosure rate in March 2012, two more than in February 2012 when 33 of the top CBSAs were showing an increase in the year-over-year foreclosure rate.