Light At The End Of The Tunnel

*Light At The End Of The Tunnel*
**By Tony Garritano**

TonyG***I heard some good news today that is worth sharing. According to CoreLogic, there were 61,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in January 2013, down from 75,000 in January 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 17.8 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures rose from 56,000 in December 2012 to the January level of 61,000, an increase of 10.5 percent.

****As a basis of comparison, prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month 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 4.2 million completed foreclosures across the country.

****Approximately 1.2 million homes were in some stage of foreclosure in the U.S., known as the foreclosure inventory, as of January 2013 compared to 1.5 million in January 2012, a 21 percent year-over-year decrease. This was the 15th consecutive month with a year-over-year decline. Month over month, the foreclosure inventory was down 3.3 percent from December 2012 to January 2013. The foreclosure inventory as of January 2013 represented 2.9 percent of all homes with a mortgage compared to 3.5 percent in January 2012.

****“The backlog of distressed assets continues to fade as the foreclosure inventory has fallen to a level not seen since mid-2009, with less than 3 percent of all mortgages in foreclosure,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The improvement is widespread as only six states and 13 of the largest 100 metro areas had an increase in the foreclosure rate year over year.”

****“We still have over a million homes in some stage of foreclosure which is too high, but the continuing downward trend in completed foreclosures is a very positive signal that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” added Anand Nallathambi, President and CEO of CoreLogic. “We expect this trend will continue in 2013 as the housing market stabilizes and purchase activity picks up.”