Distressed Inventory Fading Fast as Housing Market Strengthens
By: Esther Cho
As the housing market heals, foreclosure inventory is depleting quickly, CoreLogic reported Thursday.
In July, about 949,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, down 32 percent from 1.4 million a year ago. Foreclosure inventory also showed a 4.4 percent decline from June. Year-to-date, foreclosure inventory is down by 20 percent.
Currently, about 2.4 percent of homes with a mortgage are in foreclosure inventory, the lowest level since March 2009.
In addition to shrinking foreclosure inventory, CoreLogic also reported steep declines in completed foreclosures and serious delinquencies.
According to the data provider’s estimate, about 49,000 properties were lost to foreclosure in July, down 25 percent from 65,000 in July 2012.
From June to July, completed foreclosures fell by 8.6 percent from 53,000 in the prior month.
At 5.4 percent, the serious delinquency rate decreased to the lowest level since December 2008, according to CoreLogic. The rate represents fewer than 2.2 million mortgages.
“Continued strength in the housing market will contribute to our outlook for ongoing improvement in the stock of distressed assets through the end of this year,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.
According to CoreLogic, the decreases were apparent across the country, with every state reporting an annual decline in foreclosures.
“Not surprisingly, non-judicial states have come the farthest the fastest in reducing shadow inventory and lowering delinquency rates,” noted Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.
Florida took the lead again as the state with the highest number of completed foreclosures. Over the last 12 months, about 110,000 homes were lost to foreclosure in Florida. California followed with 65,000 completed foreclosures. Other states in the top five were Michigan (61,000), Texas (45,000), and Georgia (41,000).
Florida also held the highest percentage of homes in foreclosure inventory, at 8.1 percent. New Jersey’s foreclosure inventory rate of 5.9 percent put it at second, with New York (4.7 percent), Connecticut (4.0 percent), and Maine (4.0 percent) filling out the top five.
However, in 36 states, foreclosure inventory sits below the national rate of 2.4 percent.
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