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CoreLogic has released its December National Foreclosure Report which shows there were 39,000 completed foreclosures nationwide in December 2014, down from 46,000 in December 2013. This represents a year-over-year decrease of 13.7 percent and a decrease of 66 percent from the peak of completed foreclosures in September 2010. The 12-month sum of completed foreclosures for 2014, at 563,294, is at its lowest point since November 2007 when it was 589,570 and has declined every month for the past 34 consecutive months. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures were down 4.9 percent from the 41,000 reported in November 2014. As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5.5 million completed foreclosures across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately seven million homes lost to foreclosure.
As of December 2014, approximately 552,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 840,000 in December 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 34.3 percent and representing 38 consecutive months of year-over-year declines. The foreclosure inventory as of December 2014 made up 1.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.1 percent in December 2013. On a month-over-month basis, the foreclosure inventory was down 2.9 percent from November 2014. The current foreclosure rate of 1.4 percent is back to March 2008 levels.
“In 2014, the annual sum of completed foreclosures declined 15 percent from the 662,000 reported in 2013," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “Completed foreclosures last year were less than half the 1.2 million peak in 2010, but remain twice the level of normal activity over 10 years ago.”
“The steady decline in the number of completed foreclosures is a good sign of healing in the U.S. housing market,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Nonetheless, there remain many pockets of the country with very high foreclosure inventories, underscoring the unevenness of the nation’s housing recovery.”
Highlights as of December 2014:
►All states posted double-digit year-over-year declines in foreclosure inventory with the exception of West Virginia, which experienced a 9.5 percent decrease. The District of Columbia experienced a 21.7 percent increase.
►Thirty-three states showed declines in year-over-year foreclosure inventory of greater than 30 percent, with the largest declines in Utah (-48.8 percent) and Florida (-48.6 percent).
►The national serious delinquency rate, defined as 90 days or more past due, was 4.1 percent in December 2014, the lowest rate since June 2008. The level of serious delinquencies in December was 21.6 percent lower than in December 2013.
►The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in December 2014 were Florida (118,000), Michigan (49,000), Texas (35,000), California (29,000) and Ohio (28,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
►Four states and the District of Columbia experienced the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in December 2014: South Dakota (40), the District of Columbia (61), North Dakota (327), West Virginia (500) and Wyoming (551).
►Four states and the District of Columbia experienced the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes: New Jersey (5.2 percent), New York (4.0 percent), Florida (3.7 percent), Hawaii (2.7 percent) and the District of Columbia (2.4 percent).
►The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Alaska (0.3 percent), Nebraska (0.4 percent), North Dakota (0.4 percent), Arizona (0.5 percent) and Montana (0.5 percent).