Foreclosure inventory dropped 23.2% and completed foreclosures fell 14.9% in March compared to the same month last year, according to CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), the Irvine, Calif. property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider. The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 42,000 in March 2015 to 36,000 in March 2016, representing a decrease of 69.7% from the peak of 117,782 in September 2010.
Foreclosure inventory is the number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process; completed foreclosures have changed hands. Since the housing crash began in September 2008, there have been approximately 6.2 million completed foreclosures nationally, according to CoreLogic. It also reports there have been approximately 8.2 million foreclosures since the national home ownership rate peaked in the second quarter of 2004.
As of March 2016, 427,000, or 1.1%, of all homes with a mortgage were in foreclosure, the lowest since October, 2007. That compares with 556,000 homes, or 1.4%, in foreclosure in March 2015. CoreLogic also reported that the number of mortgages in serious delinquency (90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure or REO) declined by 19.1% from March 2015 to March 2016, with 1.2 million mortgages, or 3.1%, in this category. The March 2016 serious delinquency rate is the lowest since November 2007.
“Nationally, the economy added 609,000 jobs during the first three months of 2016, and average weekly earnings grew 2% over the past year,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Job and earnings growth have helped bring serious delinquency rates down in nearly every state. However, serious delinquency rates increased in North Dakota and West Virginia, two states affected by the drop in demand for the fuel each produces.”
“Delinquencies and foreclosure rates are now at pre-crash levels as the benefits of higher home prices, improving economic fundamentals and years of cautious underwriting are being felt across the country,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Longer term, as loans made since 2009 account for a larger share of outstanding debt, we anticipate that the serious delinquency rate will have further substantive declines.”
Additional March 2016 highlights:
- On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures increased by 9.3% to 36,000 in March 2016 from the 33,000 reported for February 2016. As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
- On a month-over-month basis, the foreclosure inventory was down 2.2% in March 2016 compared with February 2016.
- The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2016 were Florida (69,000), Michigan (48,000), Texas (28,000), Georgia (23,000) and California (23,000). These five states accounted for about 41% of all completed foreclosures nationally.
- Four states and the District of Columbia had the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2016: The District of Columbia (114), North Dakota (311), West Virginia (541), Wyoming (634) and Alaska (644).
- Four states and the District of Columbia had the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes in March 2016: New Jersey (4.0%), New York (3.3%), Hawaii (2.3%), the District of Columbia (2.2%) and Florida (2.1%).
- The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory rate in March 2016 were Alaska (0.3%), Minnesota (0.4%), Arizona (0.4%), Colorado (0.4%) and Utah (0.4%).