There were about 39,000 completed foreclosures nationwide in February – down 11.6% from about 44,000 in January and down 15.7% from about 46,000 in February 2014, according to CoreLogic.
What's more, completed foreclosures were down 67% compared to September 2010, which was the peak. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5.6 million completed foreclosures across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 7.7 million homes lost to foreclosure, according to the firm's data.
The number of mortgages in serious delinquency declined by 19.3% from February 2014 to February 2015, with 1.5 million mortgages, or 4%, in serious delinquency (defined as 90 days or more past due, including those loans in foreclosure or REO), CoreLogic reports. This is the lowest delinquency rate since June 2008. On a month-over-month basis, the number of seriously delinquent mortgages declined by 1.1%.
The national foreclosure inventory also continued to shrink: As of February, the foreclosure inventory included approximately 553,000 homes, compared to about 761,000 in February 2014. That's 1.4% of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 1.9% in February 2014.
‘The number of homes in foreclosure proceedings fell by 27 percent from a year ago and stands at about one-third of what it was at the trough of the housing cycle,’ says Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic, in a release. ‘While the drop in the share of mortgages in foreclosure to 1.4 percent is a welcome sign of continued recovery in the housing market, the share remains more than double the 0.6 percent average foreclosure rate that we saw during 2000-2004.’
‘The foreclosure inventory dropped year over year in all but two states,’ adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. ‘The foreclosure rates in judicial foreclosure states are beginning to pick up and remain higher than in non-judicial states. What's encouraging is that fewer Americans are seriously delinquent in paying their mortgages, which, in turn, is reducing the foreclosure inventory across the country as a whole.’
States with the highest number of completed foreclosures, year over year, as of February included Florida (110,000), Michigan (50,000), Texas (34,000), California (30,000) and Georgia (28,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
States with the lowest number of completed foreclosures were South Dakota (15), the District of Columbia (83), North Dakota (334), West Virginia (506) and Wyoming (526).
States with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes as of February included New Jersey (5.3%), New York (4.0%), Florida (3.4%), Hawaii (2.8%) and the District of Columbia (2.6%).
States with the lowest foreclosure inventory included Alaska (0.3%), Nebraska (0.4%), North Dakota (0.5%), Montana (0.5%) and Minnesota (0.5%).