Foreclosures, while now down 64 percent from the peak reached in September 2010, are still nearly double the monthly average before the housing crisis. CoreLogic said today that there were 41,000 completed foreclosures nationally in November, 5,000 less than in October, a decline of 12.6 percent. The company said, in its monthly National Foreclosure Report, that there have been approximately 5.6 million homes lost to foreclosure since the crisis began in September 2008. In the more normal period of 2000 to 2006 foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide.
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in November 2014 were: Florida (118,000), Michigan (50,000), Texas (36,000), California (29,000) and Ohio (29,000). These five states accounted for almost half of the nation’s total.
Approximately 567,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure at the end of November, down 3.3 percent from October. This foreclosure inventory accounts for 1.5 percent of all homes with a mortgage, the lowest rate since March 2008. A year earlier the inventory represented 2.2 percent of mortgage homes. November was the 37th month in which the inventory had declined on an annual basis and the 26th consecutive month in which those percentage decreases were in double digits.
“The number of completed foreclosures over the past twelve months-just under 575,000-are at the lowest level in seven years. This month’s figure of 41,000 foreclosures is in line with levels experienced in the second half of 2007, which was the very beginning of the housing crisis,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “At current foreclosure rates, we expect to see the foreclosure inventory in the U.S. to drop below 500,000 homes sometime in the first quarter of 2015 which would be another milestone in the healing of the housing market.”
All 50 states posted double-digit year-over-year declines in the foreclosure inventory as well, but the District of Columbia’s inventory increased by 17.8 percent. In 35 states the inventory decline surpassed 30 percent with the largest declines in Florida (-48.1 percent) and Utah (-48.9 percent). The highest percentages of homes in the foreclosure process were in New Jersey (5.3 percent), New York (4.1 percent), Florida (3.9 percent), Hawaii (2.8 percent) and District of Columbia (2.4 percent).
The serious delinquency rate also declined, down 22.8 percent year-over-year. At 4.0 percent it was at its lowest point since June 2008.
“The foreclosure rate fell in every state, with only the District of Columbia seeing a small increase,” said Molly Boesel, senior economist. “However, some states still have foreclosure rates of more than twice the national rate. While the national level of foreclosures may normalize in the next two years, there will always be the potential for some pockets of distress in the mortgage market.”