Completed foreclosures jumped 11.8% in January, compared to December, according to CoreLogic's monthly foreclosure report.
There were about 48,000 completed foreclosures, nationwide, compared to about 43,000 in December, according to the report, which offers no analysis as to the cause.
Whether the jump in foreclosures is an aberration or the start of a new trend remains to be seen. The national rate of foreclosure has been falling steadily for the past several years. Completed foreclosures are down 33% from about 59,000 in January 2013.
CoreLogic points out that, in the years leading up to the financial crisis, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month. Since September 2008, there have been approximately 4.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.
As of January, about 794,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.2 million in January 2013, according to the report.
The foreclosure inventory as of January represented 2% of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.9% in January 2013.
‘We are recovering, but we're not there yet,’ says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a release. ‘For every completed foreclosure, there are 954 mortgaged homes in non-judicial foreclosure states and 896 mortgaged homes in judicial foreclosure states. Although this is a big improvement relative to the height of the foreclosure crisis, a healthier ratio would be one for every 2000.’
‘The painful tide of high foreclosures continues to recede as fewer borrowers are losing their homes and states are working through their shadow inventory,’ adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. ‘We are entering 2014 with less than a million homes in the foreclosure inventory. We expect to see continued progress in the months ahead, but the judicial foreclosure states will continue to lag the rest of the country in working down their backlogs of foreclosed properties.’
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in January of this year were Florida (116,000), Michigan (52,000), Texas (39,000), California (38,000) and Georgia (35,000). These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
To access a copy of the full report, click here.