There were about 21,000 completed foreclosures in December – a decrease of 8.1% compared with about 23,000 in November and a decrease of about 40% compared with about 36,000 in December 2015, according to CoreLogic’s National Foreclosure Report.
What’s more, it was a decrease of about 82% compared with the peak of 118,336 completed foreclosures in September 2010, the firm reports.
In fact, the approximately 21,000 completed foreclosures in December is less than the monthly average of about 22,000 seen in the pre-crisis years, between 2000 and 2006.
States with the highest numbers of completed foreclosures in the 12 months ended in December were Florida (45,000), Michigan (30,000), Texas (24,000), Ohio (21,000) and California (19,000). These five states accounted for 36% of all completed foreclosures nationally.
States with the lowest numbers of completed foreclosures included North Dakota (182), the District of Columbia (254), West Virginia (312), Montana (630) and Alaska (668).
Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 6.5 million completed foreclosures nationally, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 8.6 million homes lost to foreclosure, CoreLogic reports.
The foreclosure inventory, meanwhile, fell 1.9% compared with November and decreased by 30% compared with December 2015. As of the end of December, there were about 329,000 properties, or 0.8% of all homes with a mortgage, in the foreclosure inventory – a decrease of 1.2% compared with December 2015.
As of the end of the month, about 1 million mortgages, or 2.6% of all properties with a mortgage, were in serious delinquency (90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure or real estate owned) – a decrease of 19.4% compared with December 2015. It was the lowest number of loans in serious delinquency since August 2007.
“While the decline in serious delinquency has been geographically broad, some oil-producing markets have shown the effects of low oil prices on the housing market,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement. “Serious delinquency rates rose in Louisiana, Wyoming and North Dakota, reflecting the weakness in oil production.”
“Foreclosure and delinquency trends continue to head in the right direction, powered principally by increasing employment levels, stringent underwriting standards and higher home prices over the past few years. We expect to see further declines in delinquency and foreclosure rates in 2017,” adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “As the foreclosure inventory diminishes, we must look ahead and tackle tight housing supply and growing affordability issues, which are keeping many potential home buyers, especially first-time buyers, on the sidelines.”