The numbers of foreclosures and potential foreclosures have fallen dramatically over the past 12 months as the foreclosure picture rapidly returns to pre-2006 levels. The decline in foreclosures in the pipeline has important ramifications for real estate investors and local markets that are returning to health as they recover from the foreclosure flood that produced 4.9 million foreclosures since 2008.
CoreLogic reported today that as of February 2014, approximately 752,000 homes in the United States were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.2 million in February 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 35 percent. Month over month, the foreclosure inventory was down 3.3 percent from January 2014. The foreclosure inventory as of February represented 1.9 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.9 percent in February 2013.
At the end of February 2014, there were 1.9 million mortgages, or 4.9 percent, in serious delinquency, defined as 90 days or more past due, including those loans in foreclosure or real estate owned (REO) that there were 43,000 completed foreclosures in the United States in February 2014, down from 51,000 in February 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 15 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures decreased 13.1 percent from 50,000 in January 2014.
The national residential shadow inventory was 1.7 million homes as of January 2014 compared to 2.2 million in January 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 23 percent.
“Although there is good news that completed foreclosures are trending lower, the bigger news is the impressive decline in the foreclosure and shadow inventories,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Every state has had double-digit, year-over-year declines in foreclosure inventory, which is reflected in the $70 billion decline in the shadow inventory.”
“The stock of seriously delinquent homes and the foreclosure rate are back to levels last seen in the final quarter of 2008,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The shadow inventory has also declined year over year for the past 3 years as the housing market continues to heal, including double-digit declines for the past 16 consecutive months.”