US foreclosure inventory down annually

December 13th, 2013

In October, the number of mortgaged homes in foreclosure dropped 30.1 percent year-over-year.

The U.S. inventory of mortgaged homes in some step of the foreclosure process dropped in October.

According to recent data from CoreLogic, the inventory fell to 879,000 homes – only 2.2 percent of all mortgaged homes and a decline of 31 percent compared to October 2012. In the previous year, the inventory included 1.3 million homes - 3.1 percent of all homes with a mortgage.

“This is good news for the housing and mortgage finance markets, but the rate remains elevated relative to the pre-crisis level of about 0.6 percent,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic. “There are almost 900,000 properties still in foreclosure, but a normal level would be only a quarter of the current stock.”

Continued recovery
The decrease experienced in October was part of a two-year trend of consecutive annual declines as well as the 13th consecutive month of double-digit improvements to the national foreclosure inventory. The seriously delinquent inventory is down 25.5 percent year over year, showing some positive signs after a peak of 88.1 percent in April 2008.

“The scourge of an elevated foreclosure inventory is easing,” said CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi. “Additionally, the rate of serious delinquencies, which fell more than 25 percent year over year, is at the lowest level in nearly five years, which is great news as we head into a new year.”

Pre-foreclosure inventories declined 30.3 percent year over year, falling to 86,000 per month in October. The drop in pre-foreclosures was a 62.6 percent decrease compared to a March 2009 peak of 229,000 per month.

Similar results across the states
Year-over-year improvements to foreclosure activity were seen in every state as well as the District of Columbia, with 29 states boasting declines of more than 25 percent. The five states with the largest annual decrease were:

  1. California (-53.8 percent)
  2. Arizona (-53.2 percent)
  3. Colorado (-43.5 percent)
  4. Minnesota (-43.1 percent)
  5. Wisconsin (-40.7 percent)

States with the largest foreclosure inventories as of October were:

  1. Florida (7.1 percent)
  2. New Jersey (6.7 percent)
  3. New York (4.9 percent)
  4. Maine (3.8 percent)
  5. Connecticut (3.7 percent)

Florida was the state hit hardest by the housing downturn, with its foreclosure inventory peaking at 12.5 percent of all mortgaged homes during the recession.