About 47,000 foreclosures were completed in May – an increase of about 3.8% compared to the 45,000 completed in April, but down 9.4% compared to the 52,000 completed in May 2013 – according to CoreLogic's National Foreclosure Report.
As of May, there were about 660,000 homes in the U.S. in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to about 1 million in May 2013 – a year-over-year decrease of 37%.
The foreclosure inventory, as of May, represented 1.7% of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.6% in May 2013. On a year-over-year basis, the foreclosure inventory had decreased for 31 consecutive months.
‘Significant gains have been made in the last year to reduce the foreclosure stock,’ says Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement. ‘Yet, these improvements are occurring disproportionately in non-judicial states. The foreclosure inventory in judicial states is averaging 2.1 percent, which is more than twice the 0.9 percent average that is occurring in non-judicial states.’
‘The pace of completed foreclosures slowed in May compared to last month, but I expect this to be a temporary respite,’ adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. ‘There is still much more hard work to do to clear the backlog of foreclosed properties. Although difficult, we need to continue to aggressively clear distressed homes to ensure the return of a healthy housing market.’
States with the highest number of completed foreclosures, year over year, in May included Florida (122,000), Michigan (44,000), Texas (39,000), California (34,000) and Georgia (32,000). These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
States with the lowest number of completed foreclosures, year over year, in May included the District of Columbia (71), North Dakota (334), West Virginia (515), Wyoming (710) and Alaska (856).
States with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes included New Jersey (5.8%), Florida (5.2%), New York (4.3%), Hawaii (3.1%) and Maine (2.8%).
States with the lowest foreclosure inventory included Alaska (0.3%), Nebraska (0.4%), North Dakota (0.4%), Wyoming (0.4%) and Minnesota (0.5%).
It should be noted that a rise in completed foreclosures in any given month can be attributed to an acceleration in the efforts of servicers and the state courts in working through a backlog of foreclosures – thus, the trend is not necessarily related to a downturn in economic conditions.