While still at an elevated level, foreclosure inventory is fading and has fallen for 15 straight months as of January 2013, CoreLogic reported Thursday.
According to the data provider’s foreclosure inventory report, the number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process is now down to 1.2 million as of January. Year-over-year, foreclosure inventory has fallen 21 percent from 1.5 million. Month-over-month, foreclosure inventory shrunk by 3.3 percent. At the same time, foreclosure inventory accounted for 2.3 percent of all homes with a mortgage, down from 3.5 percent in January 2012.
“The backlog of distressed assets continues to fade as the foreclosure inventory has fallen to a level not seen since mid-2009,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.
Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, added, “We still have over a million homes in some stage of foreclosure which is too high, but the continuing downward trend in completed foreclosures is a very positive signal that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”
The number of homes lost to the foreclosure process also declined from a year ago, but increased on a monthly basis. In January 2013, completed foreclosures numbered 61,000, down from 75,000 in January 2012, but up 10.5 percent from 56,000 in December 2012. CoreLogic explained the monthly uptick has occurred each January for the past 13 years, most likely due to banks holding off on foreclosures during the holiday.
Before the housing market decline in 2007, CoreLogic data shows completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. As of September 2008, CoreLogic reported 4.2 million homes have been lost to foreclosure.
Across the nation, six states and 13 out of the 100 largest metro areas saw an increase in their foreclosure rate year-over-year, according to CoreLogic.
The state with the highest foreclosure inventory was Florida, which has a rate of 10 percent compared to the national average of 2.9 percent. New Jersey’s foreclosure inventory rate of 7.2 percent put it at second, with New York (5.1 percent), Nevada (4.7 percent), and Illinois (4.6 percent) filling the next three spots in the top five.
CoreLogic also ranked the top five states for completed foreclosures over a one-year period ending January 2013. California led with 96,000 completed forclosures and was followed by Florida (95,000), Michigan (74,000), Texas (59,000), and Georgia (50,000).The five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures.
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