Both the number of completed foreclosures and the volume of homes in the foreclosure inventory fell significantly last year, suggesting that foreclosures have peaked.
CoreLogic reported today that completed foreclosures for all of 2011 totaled 830,000 compared with 1.1 million in 2010 a 24 percent decrease. In December 2011 there was a month-over-month decrease in completed foreclosures to 55,000 from 57,000 in November 2011. The December 2011 completed foreclosures figure was also down from one year ago when it stood at 67,000. From the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.2 million completed foreclosures.
The new data from CoreLogic also shows that nationally 1.4 million homes, or 3.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the foreclosure inventory as of December 2011. The foreclosure inventory is the stock of homes in the foreclosure process. Nationally, the number of loans in the foreclosure inventory decreased 8.4 percent in December 2011 compared to December 2010, a decline of 130,000 properties nationwide. The number of loans in the foreclosure inventory decreased by 5.3* percent in November 2011 compared to November 2010 as well.
The share of borrowers nationally that were 90 days or more delinquent on their mortgage payments, classified as seriously delinquent, fell to 7.3 percent in December 2011 compared to 7.8 percent in December 2010.
According to CoreLogic, servicers nationwide stepped up the rate at which they were able to process distressed assets in December 2011. The distressed clearing ratio is calculated by dividing the number of REO sales by completed foreclosures. The higher the ratio, the faster the REO inventory is clearing. The distressed clearing ratio was 1.03, up from 0.94 in November 2011.
"The inventory of foreclosed properties has begun to shrink, and the pace at which properties are entering foreclosure is slowing. While foreclosure filings are being curtailed by a variety of judicial and regulatory constraints, mortgage servicers are completing REO sales faster than they are completing foreclosures," said Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic. "This is the first time in a year that REO sales have outpaced completed foreclosures, and part of the reason for the decrease in the foreclosure inventory."
Highlights as of December 2011:
• The percent of homeowners nationally who were more than 90 days late on their mortgage payment, including homes in foreclosure and REO, was 7.3 percent for December 2011 compared to 7.8 percent for December 2010, and 7.2 percent in November 2011.
• The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory were: Florida (11.9 percent), New Jersey (6.4 percent), Illinois (5.4 percent), Nevada (5.3 percent) and New York (4.6 percent).
• The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory were: Wyoming (0.7 percent), Alaska (0.8 percent), North Dakota (0.8 percent), Nebraska (1.0 percent) and Washington (1.3 percent).
• Of the top 100 markets, measured by Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) population, 34 are showing an increase in the foreclosure inventory in December 2011 compared to a year ago, an improvement from November 2011 when 46 of the top CBSAs were showing an increase in the foreclosure inventory compared to a year ago.