In the month of January, 61,000 U.S. homes were foreclosed, more than a revised total of 56,000 in December and down from 75,000 in January 2012, according to research firm CoreLogic Inc. (NYSE: CLGX). While an improvement, the number of foreclosures is still well above the 2000 to 2006 average of 21,000 foreclosures per month. CoreLogic notes that since September 2008, some 4.2 million foreclosures have been completed in the United States.
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in the past 12 months were California (96,000), Florida (95,000), Michigan (74,000), Texas (59,000) and Georgia (50,000). The five states with the fewest foreclosures in the 12 months to January were District of Columbia (96), Hawaii (458), North Dakota (508), Maine (538) and West Virginia (602).
The five states with the largest inventories of foreclosed properties are Florida (10%), New Jersey (7.2%), New York (5.1%), Nevada (4.7%) and Illinois (4.6%). The five states with the lowest inventories of foreclosed properties are Wyoming (0.4%), Alaska (0.6%), North Dakota (0.7%), Nebraska (0.8%) and Colorado (0.9%).
CoreLogic executives noted:
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. 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.
The research firm also noted that about 1.2 million homes were in some stage of foreclosure during January, down from 1.5 million in January 2012, marking the 15th consecutive month with a year-over-year decline in the inventory of foreclosed properties. CoreLogic said the foreclosure inventory in January represented 2.9% of all mortgaged homes, compared with 3.5% in January a year ago.
Mortgage services firm Lender Processing Service Inc. (NYSE: LPS) issued its “First Look” report for January today as well, and the company notes that the drop in the foreclosure presale inventory is 19.4% compared with January of 2012. LPS also notes that the mortgage delinquency rate is down 8.35% from January of last year.