There were about 39,000 completed foreclosures nationwide in December 2014, down 4.9% from 41,000 in November and down 13.7% from 46,000 in December 2013, according to CoreLogic.
What's more, the number of completed foreclosures is down 66% from the peak of the housing crisis in September 2010.
Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5.5 million completed foreclosures across the country, according to the firm.
Since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 7 million homes lost to foreclosure.
As of December, about 552,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to about 840,000 in December 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 34.3%. December marked the 38th consecutive month of year-over-year declines.
About 1.4% of all homes with a mortgage were in some stage of foreclosure in December, compared to 2.1% in December 2013. The last time the foreclosure inventory stood at 1.4% was in March 2008.
The foreclosure inventory was down 2.9% in December compared to November.
‘In 2014, the annual sum of completed foreclosures declined 15 percent from the 662,000 reported in 2013,’ says Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. ‘Completed foreclosures last year were less than half the 1.2 million peak in 2010, but remain twice the level of normal activity over 10 years ago.’
‘The steady decline in the number of completed foreclosures is a good sign of healing in the U.S. housing market,’ adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. ‘Nonetheless, there remain many pockets of the country with very high foreclosure inventories, underscoring the unevenness of the nation's housing recovery.’
States with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ended in December 2014 were Florida (118,000), Michigan (49,000), Texas (35,000), California (29,000) and Ohio (28,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
States with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the month included South Dakota (40), the District of Columbia (61), North Dakota (327), West Virginia (500) and Wyoming (551).
States that had the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were New Jersey (5.2%), New York (4.0%), Florida (3.7%), Hawaii (2.7%) and the District of Columbia (2.4%).
States that had the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Alaska (0.3%), Nebraska (0.4%), North Dakota (0.4%), Arizona (0.5%) and Montana (0.5%).