Foreclosure Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since ’08

About 1.5 percent of all homes with a mortgage in the United States were in some state of foreclosure in November 2014, the lowest foreclosure rate since March 2008, according to CoreLogic‘s November 2014  National Foreclosure Report released Wednesday.

Foreclosure inventory, which includes homes in any state of foreclosure, plummeted year-over-year in November, falling from 880,000 in November 2013 to 567,000 in November 2014 – a decline of 35.5 percent. November represented the 37th consecutive month in which foreclosure inventory declined year-over-year and the 26th straight month in which the nation’s foreclosure inventory saw a double-digit percentage decline. Month-over-month, foreclosure inventory fell 3.3 percent from October to November.

“The number of completed foreclosures over the past twelve months–just under 575,000–are at the lowest level in seven years,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “This month’s figure of 41,000 foreclosures is in line levels experienced in the second half of 2007, which was the very beginning of the housing crisis.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.”

Foreclosure inventory declined by double-digit percentages year-over-year in all 50 states in November 2014 (although it increased by 17.8 percent in the District of Columbia). In 35 states, foreclosure inventory declined year-over-year by 30 percent or more in November, led by Utah (48.9 percent) and Florida (48.1 percent).

“The foreclosure rate fell in every state, with only the District of Columbia seeing a small increase,” said Molly Boesel, senior economist for CoreLogic. “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.”

Many homes currently in foreclosure inventory will not see the entire foreclosure process through, however. Foreclosure completions, which represent the number of homes lost to foreclosure, also experienced significant declines in November. In all, about 41,000 foreclosures were completed during the month, compared to 46,000 in November 2013 (a 9.9 percent drop) and the adjusted number of 47,000 for October 2014. November’s foreclosure completions total of 41,000 is down 64 percent from the peak level in September 2010 but is still nearly double the average monthly total of 21,000 from 2000 to 2006, before the housing crisis.

Since September 2008, about 5.5 million homes nationwide have been lost to foreclosure. Since homeownership peaked in the second quarter of 2004, foreclosure has claimed about seven million homes.

The nation’s serious delinquency rate (percentage of mortgages 90 days or more overdue or in foreclosure) for November 2014 was 4 percent, its lowest level since June 2008. November’s percentage represented a 22.8 percent year-over-year decline.

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