The latest National Foreclosure Report from CoreLogic shows completed foreclosures posted a year-over-year decline of 22.6% in December -- from 41,000 to 32,000 -- and are down 72.8% from their September 2010 peak of 117,722.
In addition, the property information, analytics, and data-enabled services provider reports the foreclosure inventory that same month dropped 23.8%. The foreclosure inventory represents the number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process and completed foreclosures reflect the total number of homes lost to foreclosure.
Since the beginning of the financial meltdown in September 2008, there have been approximately 6.1 million completed foreclosures across the country. And since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been about 8 million homes lost to foreclosure.
As of this past December, the national foreclosure inventory included approximately 433,000, or 1.1%, of all homes with a mortgage, compared with 568,000 homes, or 1.5% the year before. The December 2015 foreclosure inventory rate is the lowest for any month since November 2007.
“Reflecting on the full-year foreclosure results for 2015, we can see that completed foreclosures are down more than 20% for the year, which is the lowest level since 2006, before the crisis,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Maryland, which can be described as a suburb of the solid D.C. market, led the way with a 59% decline in foreclosures in 2015.”
CoreLogic also reports that the number of mortgages in serious delinquency (defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure or real estate owned) declined by 23.3% from December 2014 to December 2015, with 1.2 million mortgages, or 3.2%, in this category. The December 2015 serious delinquency rate is the lowest in eight years.
“The supply of distressed inventory continues to shrink rapidly. While this is positive for the housing market overall, it also drives a decline in the inventory of affordable for-sale homes,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The lack of housing stock, particularly affordable inventory, is a growing issue and will limit a full housing recovery in the short to medium term.”
- On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures declined by 5.6% to 32,000 in December 2015 from the 34,000 reported in November 2015. As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
- The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in December 2015 were Florida (79,000), Michigan (50,000), Texas (30,000), Ohio (24,000), and Georgia (24,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
- Four states and the District of Columbia had the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in December 2015: the District of Columbia (81), North Dakota (220), Wyoming (541), West Virginia (560), and Alaska (700).
- Four states and the District of Columbia had the highest foreclosure inventory rate in December 2015: New Jersey (4.2%), New York (3.5%), Hawaii (2.4%), the District of Columbia (2.3%), and Florida (2.3%).
- The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory rate in December 2015 were Alaska (0.3%), Minnesota (0.3%), Colorado (0.4%), Arizona (0.4%), and Utah (0.4%).