Foreclosure Inventory Drops by One-Third, Still Elevated

Foreclosure Inventory Drops by One-Third, Still Elevated

Foreclosure inventory in January was down by one-third over the year, although completed foreclosures ticked up over the month, according to CoreLogic’s National Foreclosure Report released Thursday.

Demonstrating an 11.8 percent increase over the month, completed foreclosures totaled 48,000 in January. However, despite the monthly increase, foreclosures were down 19 percent over the year. January’s total remains elevated compared to a historical norm of 21,000 foreclosures per month by CoreLogic’s standard.

Having declined for 27 consecutive months, the foreclosure inventory stands at 794,000, a 33 percent drop from 1.2 million last January, according to CoreLogic. About 2 percent of all mortgaged homes were part of the foreclosure inventory in January, according to CoreLogic’s data, while Black Knight Financial Services reported the rate at 2.37 percent in its foreclosure inventory report released the same day as CoreLogic’s.

“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,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

In non-judicial states, there are 954 mortgages per foreclosure, while in judicial states, the ratio stands at 896 mortgages per foreclosure, according to CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming, who points out, “Although this is a big improvement relative to the height of the foreclosure crisis, a healthier ratio would be one in every 2000.”

However, in January, non-judicial states dominated the top five list of states with the highest numbers of completed foreclosures over the year. Florida was the only judicial state in the top five, ranking No. 1 with 116,121 foreclosures. The remaining four states included Michigan (52,000), Texas (39,000), California (38,000), and Georgia (35,000). As in December, these states accounted for almost half the nation’s foreclosures over the 12 months ending in January.

States where the fewest foreclosures were completed over the 12-month period include the District of Columbia (60), North Dakota (427), Hawaii (526), West Virginia (543), and Wyoming (732). Foreclosure inventories were highest in Florida (6.4 percent), New Jersey (6.3 percent), New York (4.8 percent), Connecticut (3.4 percent), and Maine (3.4 percent).

While Florida topped both lists, the state’s foreclosure numbers are improving with inventory down 0.3 percentage points from December to January and completed foreclosures declining from 119,000 to 116,121. However, the state also claims the highest serious delinquency rate in the nation with 10.9 percent of loans at least 90 days past due.

Foreclosure inventories were lowest in Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.5 percent), North Dakota (0.6 percent), Colorado (0.5 percent) and Nebraska (0.6 percent).

Of the nation’s largest core-based statistical areas(CBSA), Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Georgia topped the list for completed foreclosures over the 12 months ending in January. The CBSA reported 20,502 foreclosures over the year.

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida ranked second with 16,950 foreclosures, followed by Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Illinois (14,718); Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Florida (11,750); and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona (11,283).

At the bottom of the list, two CBSAs reported fewer than 1,000 foreclosures over the year in January–Nassau County-Suffolk County, New York (737) and Newark, New Jersey-Pennsylvania (860).


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