Home Foreclosure Numbers Improve, but Still Far to Go

24/7 Wall St.

In the month of January, 48,000 U.S. home foreclosures were completed, down 11.8% month over month and down 19% from 59,000 in January 2013, according to research firm CoreLogic. While an improvement, the number of foreclosures is still well above the 2000 to 2006 average of 21,000 foreclosures per month. CoreLogic notes that since September 2008, some 4.9 million foreclosures have been completed in the United States.

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in the past 12 months were Florida (116,000), Michigan (52,000), Texas (39,000), California (38,000) and Georgia (35,000). The five states with the fewest foreclosures in the 12 months through January were District of Columbia (60), North Dakota (427), Hawaii (526), West Virginia (543) and Wyoming (732).

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The five states with the largest inventories of foreclosed properties as a percentage of mortgaged properties are Florida (6.4%), New Jersey (6.3%), New York (4.8%), Connecticut (3.4%) and Maine (3.4%). The five states with the lowest inventories of foreclosed properties are Wyoming (0.4%), Alaska (0.5%), North Dakota (0.5%), Colorado (0.5%) and Nebraska (0.5%).

CoreLogic's CEO noted:

The painful tide of high foreclosures continues to recede as fewer borrowers are losing their homes and states are working through their shadow inventory. We are entering 2014 with less than a million homes in the foreclosure inventory.

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The research firm's chief economist noted, however:

We are recovering, but we’re not there yet. For every completed foreclosure, there are 954 mortgaged homes in non-judicial foreclosure states and 896 mortgaged homes in judicial foreclosure states. Although this is a big improvement relative to the height of the foreclosure crisis, a healthier ratio would be one for every 2000.

CoreLogic notes that the national foreclosure inventory is down 33% since January 2013 and down 3.3% month-over-month. That marks the 13th consecutive month of at least a 20% year-over-year decline in the inventory of foreclosed homes.

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