CoreLogic: December Foreclosures Fall A Lot

CoreLogic released its December 2015 National Foreclosure Report, which shows the foreclosure inventory declined by 23.8 percent and completed foreclosures declined by 22.6 percent compared with December 2014. The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 41,000 in December 2014 to 32,000 in December 2015. The number of completed foreclosures in December 2015 was down 72.8 percent from the peak of 117,722 in September 2010.

The foreclosure inventory represents the number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process and completed foreclosures reflect the total number of homes lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 6.1 million completed foreclosures across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been about 8 million homes lost to foreclosure.

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As of December 2015, the national foreclosure inventory included approximately 433,000, or 1.1 percent, of all homes with a mortgage compared with 568,000 homes, or 1.5 percent, in December 2014. The December 2015 foreclosure inventory rate is the lowest for any month since November 2007.

CoreLogic also reports that the number of mortgages in serious delinquency (defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure or REO) declined by 23.3 percent from December 2014 to December 2015, with 1.2 million mortgages, or 3.2 percent, in this category. The December 2015 serious delinquency rate is the lowest in eight years, since November 2007.

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“Reflecting on the full-year foreclosure results for 2015, we can see that completed foreclosures are down more than 20 percent for the year, which is the lowest level since 2006, before the crisis,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Maryland, which can be described as a suburb of the solid D.C. market, led the way with a 59-percent decline in foreclosures in 2015.”

“The supply of distressed inventory continues to shrink rapidly. While this is positive for the housing market overall, it also drives a decline in the inventory of affordable for-sale homes,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The lack of housing stock, particularly affordable inventory, is a growing issue and will limit a full housing recovery in the short to medium term.”