IRVINE, Calif.— CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX) released its March National Foreclosure Report, which provides data on completed U.S. foreclosures and foreclosure inventory. According to CoreLogic, for the month of March 2014, there were 48,000 completed foreclosures nationally, down from 53,000 in March 2013, a year–over–year decrease of 10 percent. On a month–over–month basis, completed foreclosures were up 5.9 percent from the 45,000* reported in February 2014. 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.
Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5 million completed foreclosures across the country.
As of March 2014, approximately 720,000 homes in the United States were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.1 million in March 2013, a year–over–year decrease of 37 percent. The foreclosure inventory as of March represented 1.8 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.8 percent in March 2013. The foreclosure inventory was down 5.1 percent from February 2014, representing the 29th month of year–over–year declines.
“The inventory of homes in foreclosure and serious delinquency status are back to 2008 levels, yet remain elevated from a historical perspective,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While getting healthier, the housing market is a long way from being fully recovered. By way of comparison, distressed stock inventories are more than three times higher than the levels of the early 2000s before the most-recent housing boom and subsequent financial crisis.”
“The pathway to a full recovery in housing is proving to be a very long one, but lower distressed stock levels are one clear indicator that we continue to make slow-but-steady progress,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Most states have made good progress clearing their foreclosure inventories, but states that have a longer judicial foreclosure process, such as Florida, New Jersey and New York, continue to struggle with elevated distressed stock inventories.”
Highlights as of March 2014:
- The 12–month sum of completed foreclosures is at lowest point since December 2007 and has declined every month for the past 27 consecutive months.
- Every state, excluding Wyoming and the District of Columbia, posted double-digit year–over–year declines in completed foreclosures.
- Thirty-seven states show declines in year–over–year foreclosure inventory of greater than 30 percent with Arizona, California and Utah experiencing declines greater than 50 percent.
- The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2014 were Florida (122,000), Michigan (49,000), Texas (39,000), California (34,000) and Georgia (33,000).These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
- The five states (including the District of Columbia) with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2014 were the District of Columbia (57), North Dakota (414), West Virginia (516), Hawaii (683) and Wyoming (714).
- The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were New Jersey (6.0 percent), Florida (5.8 percent), New York (4.6 percent), Maine (3.2 percent) and Hawaii (3.1 percent).
- The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Alaska (0.4 percent), Wyoming (0.5 percent), North Dakota (0.5 percent), Nebraska (0.5 percent) and Minnesota (0.6 percent).
*February data was revised. Revisions are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates newly released data to provide updated results.
The data in this report represents foreclosure activity reported through March 2014.
This report separates state data into judicial versus non-judicial foreclosure state categories. In judicial foreclosure states, lenders must provide evidence to the courts of delinquency in order to move a borrower into foreclosure. In non-judicial foreclosure states, lenders can issue notices of default directly to the borrower without court intervention. This is an important distinction since judicial states, as a rule, have longer foreclosure timelines, thus affecting foreclosure statistics.
A completed foreclosure occurs when a property is auctioned and results in the purchase of the home at auction by either a third party, such as an investor, or by the lender. If the home is purchased by the lender, it is moved into the lender’s real estate owned (REO) inventory. In “foreclosure by advertisement” states, a redemption period begins after the auction and runs for a statutory period, e.g., six months. During that period, the borrower may regain the foreclosed home by paying all amounts due as calculated under the statute. For purposes of this Foreclosure Report, because so few homes are actually redeemed following an auction, it is assumed that the foreclosure process ends in “foreclosure by advertisement” states at the completion of the auction.
The foreclosure inventory represents the number and share of mortgaged homes that have been placed into the process of foreclosure by the mortgage servicer. Mortgage servicers start the foreclosure process when the mortgage reaches a specific level of serious delinquency as dictated by the investor for the mortgage loan. Once a foreclosure is “started,” and absent the borrower paying all amounts necessary to halt the foreclosure, the home remains in foreclosure until the completed foreclosure results in the sale to a third party at auction or the home enters the lender’s REO inventory. The data in this report accounts for only first liens against a property and does not include secondary liens. The foreclosure inventory is measured only against homes that have an outstanding mortgage. Homes with no mortgage liens can never be in foreclosure and are, therefore, excluded from the analysis. Approximately one-third of homes nationally are owned outright and do not have a mortgage. CoreLogic has approximately 85 percent coverage of U.S. foreclosure data.