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Home Foreclosures Tick Up in August

Paul Ausick

In the month of August, 48,000 U.S. home foreclosures were completed, up 1.3% from a revised total of 47,000 in July and down 34% from 72,000 in August 2012, according to research firm CoreLogic Inc. (CLGX). 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 4.5 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 (111,000), Michigan (60,000), California (58,000), Texas (43,000) and Georgia (40,000). The five states with the fewest foreclosures in the 12 months through August were the District of Columbia (94), North Dakota (463), Hawaii (492), West Virginia (501) and Wyoming (723).

The five states with the largest inventories of foreclosed properties as a percentage of mortgaged properties are Florida (7.9%), New Jersey (6.2%), New York (4.9%), Maine (4.0%) and Connecticut (3.9%). The five states with the lowest inventories of foreclosed properties are Wyoming (0.4%), Alaska (0.6%), North Dakota (0.7%), Nebraska (0.7%) and Colorado (0.7%).

CoreLogic’s chief economist noted:

A surge in completed foreclosures and a rise in the foreclosure inventory is unlikely given continued house price improvements and shortages of supply in many markets.

The August report also includes quarterly data through July on the shadow inventory, defined as properties more than 90 days delinquent, in foreclosure or held as real-estate owned but not currently appearing on multiple listing services. The value of the U.S. shadow inventory is $293 billion, down from $380 billion year-over-year. There are 1.9 million properties in the shadow inventory, 22% lower than the number in July 2012. Five states -- Florida, California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey -- account for 43% of the country's shadow inventory.