The foreclosure crisis has softened considerably, although the number of borrowers in the process of possibly losing their homes is still far above the pre-crisis level dating back to the early 2000s.
Nonetheless, 51,000 foreclosures were completed in September 2013, a 39 percent year-over-year decline from 84,000 in September 2012, according to CoreLogic‘s latest update released Thursday.
By comparison, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures declined 0.7 percent in September.
Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost.
Furthermore, the foreclosure inventory is down 24 percent year-to-date, CoreLogic said. As of September 2013, the foreclosure inventory represented 2.3 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 3.2 percent in September 2012. The foreclosure inventory declined 3.3 percent from August 2013 to September 2013.
There is more positive news. Serious mortgage delinquencies — the harbinger of foreclosures to come — are on the decline.
Fewer than 2.1 million residential mortgages, or 5.2 Percent, are Seriously delinquent. That’s the lowest level since December 2008.
“The number of seriously delinquent mortgages continues to drop across the country at a rapid rate with every state showing year-on-year declines in foreclosure inventory. We’re not out of the woods yet, but these are encouraging signs for a return to a healthier housing market in the U.S.,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.
About 902,000 homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure as of September 2013, compared to 1.4 million in September 2012, a decrease of 33 percent. This was the 23rd consecutive month with a year-over-year decline.
“The foreclosure inventory continues to decline, now standing at an early 2009 level,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Just over 900,000 properties remain in the inventory, two thirds of them in judicial states where the foreclosure process is typically slower. Consequently, the pace of overall improvement in the inventory will slow down and distressed assets will cast a long shadow over housing markets in states with judicial foreclosure.”
►The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2013 were: Florida (115,000), California (52,000), Texas (43,000), Michigan (40,000) and Georgia (39,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
►The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2013 were: District of Columbia (52), North Dakota (454), Hawaii (490), West Virginia (521) and Wyoming (719).
►The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (7.4 percent), New Jersey (6.5 percent), New York (4.8 percent), Maine (4.0 percent) and Connecticut (3.7 percent).
►The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.6 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.7 percent) and Colorado (0.7 percent).