Friday, October 12, 2012

FORECLOSURES: Foreclosures Continue Decline but Inventory Clearing Slowly

CoreLogic reported this morning that completed foreclosures in August were 24 percent lower than one year earlier and also down from July. There were 57,000 foreclosures completed during August compared to 75,000 in August, 2011 and 58,000 the previous month.  August is the fourth consecutive month that completed foreclosures declined but there have now been approximately 3.8 million homes lost to the process since September 2008.

The national foreclosure inventory stands at approximately 1.3 million homes according o CoreLogic's National Foreclosure Report.  This is 3.2 percent of all mortgaged homes in the country.  These numbers are essentially unchanged from July.  In August 2011 there were 1.4 million or 3.4 percent of mortgaged homes in the inventory which indicates the number and share of homes in any stage of the foreclosure process.  

"The continuing downward trend in foreclosures and a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory are important signals that the recovery in housing is gaining traction," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "The reduction in foreclosure volumes is to
some degree being facilitated by the rising popularity of alternative resolution methods, such as short sales and loan modifications."

"August marks the fourth month in a row there were fewer completed foreclosures, which is more evidence that the housing industry is finding its footing," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.  "While we are seeing improvement on a national level, there remain higher concentrations of foreclosures in some areas with five states accounting for nearly half of all completed foreclosures nationwide during the last year." 

As Fleming indicated, foreclosure activity is very uneven across the states with some experiencing problems that are comparatively negligible.  During the 12 months ended in August California had 110,000 completed foreclosures, Florida 92,000, and Michigan 62,000 while South Dakota had 25.  Just 113 were completed in the nation's capitol over a 12 month period and Hawaii had 435. 

The states with the largest percentage of mortgages homes in some stage of foreclosure were Florida (11.0 percent), New Jersey (6.5 percent), and New York (5.2 percent).

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