In yet another sign that the U.S. housing market is now almost fully healed from the effects of the Great Recession, foreclosure starts were down 12% in 2015 compared with 2014, and completed foreclosures were down 17% for the year, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ Mortgage Monitor report for December.
What’s more, first-time foreclosure starts were down 19%, the firm’s data shows. In fact, first-time foreclosure starts were down more than 30% in 2015 compared with 2005, Black Knight says.
The decrease in foreclosure starts was driven by the “more pristine performance of recent vintages and reduced inflow of severely delinquent loans from crisis-era vintages,” the firm says in its report.
There were about 377,000 foreclosure sales (i.e., completed foreclosures) in 2015, according to the report. That’s a decrease of 17% compared with 2014 and a decrease of 70% compared with 2010.
About 7.1 million residential homes have been lost to foreclosure sale since the beginning of 2007, according to Black Knight’s data.
As of the end of December, there were about 700,000 homes in the foreclosure inventory – less than a third of what it was at the height of the crisis.
As reported in January, when Black Knight released its First Look report, the total U.S. loan delinquency rate (30 days or more past due but not in foreclosure) as of December was 4.78%, a decrease of 2.99% compared with November and a decrease of 14.98% compared with December 2014.
To read the full Mortgage Monitor report, click here.