The national foreclosure rate dropped slightly in September, according to CoreLogic; however, there are still about 902,000 bank-owned homes waiting to be liquidated.
According to the property data and analytics firm's monthly National Foreclosure Report, there were 51,000 completed foreclosures in September – a decrease of about 0.7% from August. Foreclosure inventory declined about 3.3%.
Despite the slowdown, the rate of foreclosure has improved dramatically since last year: According to the report, the national foreclosure rate dropped 39% from September 2012 to September 2013.
CoreLogic says foreclosure inventory reached 2009 levels in September, declining 33% since September 2012, when there were 1.4 million real estate-owned (REO) properties on lenders' books.
Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.6 million completed foreclosures across the country.
Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, points out that two-thirds of the REO now held in portfolios are located in judicial states where the foreclosure process is typically slower.
‘Consequently, the pace of overall improvement in the inventory will slow down, and distressed assets will cast a long shadow over housing markets in states with judicial foreclosure,’ Fleming says.
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2013 were Florida (115,000), California (52,000), Texas (43,000), Michigan (40,000) and Georgia (39,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2013 were District of Columbia (52), North Dakota (454), Hawaii (490), West Virginia (521) and Wyoming (719).
The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Florida (7.4%), New Jersey (6.5%), New York (4.8%), Maine (4.0%) and Connecticut (3.7%).
The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Wyoming (0.4%), Alaska (0.6%), North Dakota (0.7%), Nebraska (0.7%) and Colorado (0.7%).
To download the full report, click here.