Home Foreclosures Still Double Rate Before Housing Bust

24/7 Wall St.

In the month of February, 43,000 U.S. home foreclosures were completed, down 13.1% month over month and down 15% from 51,000 in February 2013, according to research firm CoreLogic. While an improvement, the number of foreclosures is still more than double 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 (118,000), Michigan (50,000), Texas (39,000), California (37,000) and Georgia (34,000). The five states with the fewest foreclosures in the 12 months through February were District of Columbia (60), North Dakota (421), Hawaii (519), West Virginia (571) and Wyoming (705).

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The five states with the largest inventories of foreclosed properties as a percentage of mortgaged properties are New Jersey (6.2%), Florida (6.0%), New York (4.7%), Maine (3.4%) and Connecticut (3.2%). The five states with the lowest inventories of foreclosed properties are Wyoming (0.3%), Alaska (0.4%), North Dakota (0.5%), Nebraska (0.5%) and Colorado (0.6%).

CoreLogic's CEO noted:

The stock of seriously delinquent homes and the foreclosure rate are back to levels last seen in the final quarter of 2008. The shadow inventory has also declined year over year for the past three years as the housing market continues to heal, including double-digit declines for the past 16 consecutive months.

CoreLogic notes that the national foreclosure inventory is down 35% since February 2013 and down 3.3% month over month. That marks the 14th consecutive month of at least a 20% year-over-year decline in the inventory of foreclosed homes.

In the first quarter, shadow inventory fell 2.9% to 1.7 million units, down 22% compared with shadow inventory in January 2013. Shadow inventory includes properties that are more than 90 days delinquent, in foreclosure and real-estate owned (REO) by mortgage servicers but not included on multiple listing services. Almost half the homes in the shadow inventory are delinquent but not yet foreclosed.

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