More than a quarter of the national foreclosure inventory that existed in May 2014 had been absorbed by May of this year and completed foreclosures saw only slightly less improvement. CoreLogic said today that the inventory of properties in the process of foreclosure, which had totaled 676,000 homes a year earlier had dropped to 491,000 by May 2015, a decrease of 27.4 percent. Homes in foreclosure which had represented a rate of 1.7 percent of mortgaged homes declined to 1.3 percent. The largest foreclosure inventories as a percent of mortgage homes were in New Jersey (4.9 percent), New York (3.7 percent), Florida (2.9 percent), Hawaii (2.5 percent) and District of Columbia (2.4 percent).
There were 41,000 completed foreclosures in May, down from 51,000 the previous year, a 19.2 percent decrease and 64.9 percent fewer foreclosures than at the peak of activity in September 2010. Foreclosure activity did increase from April 2015 to May by 2,000 units or 4.1 percent. As a basis of comparison, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006. Half of all completed foreclosures during the 12 months ended in May were in five states: Florida (104,000), Michigan (46,000), Texas (33,000), California (28,000) and Ohio (27,000).
The serious delinquency rate (90 or more days past due or in foreclosure) is now at a more than seven year low with 1.3 million mortgages or 3.5 percent of borrowers in this category. This is an annual decline of 22.7 percent and the lowest rate since January 2008. Delinquencies fell by 2.4 percent on a month-over-month basis.
“With three million jobs created during the past year, the improving labor market has helped more borrowers stay current on their mortgage loan,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Because fewer loans are becoming seriously delinquent, the foreclosure inventory has come down to its lowest level in more than seven years, with only 1.3 percent of loans in foreclosure proceedings.”
“While the nation’s seriously delinquent rate-3.5 percent-is at its lowest level since January 2008, it remains very high in several big markets,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The greater New York City region and central Florida continue to have some of the highest serious delinquency rates, almost doubling the national level. Default rates remain elevated in the Chicago and Baltimore metro areas as well.”