In the month of December, 56,000 U.S. homes were foreclosed, down from an upwardly revised total of 58,000 in November and down from 71,000 in December 2011, according to research firm CoreLogic (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 4.1 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 (100,000), Florida (98,000), Michigan (74,000), Texas (57,000) and Georgia (49,000). The five states with the fewest foreclosures in the 12 months to December were District of Columbia (89), Hawaii (421), North Dakota (521), Maine (537) and West Virginia (645).
The five states with the largest inventories of foreclosed properties are Florid (10.1%), New Jersey (7.0%), New York (5.1%), Nevada (4.7%) and Illinois (4.5%). 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 (1.0%).
CoreLogic executives noted:
The most encouraging foreclosure trend reported here is that the inventory of foreclosed properties is almost 20 percent smaller than a year ago. This big improvement indicates we are working toward resolving the backlog of the most distressed assets in the shadow inventory.
The rate of foreclosures continues to trend down, albeit at a slower rate as we exit 2012. This trend should continue into 2013 and is another positive signal that the gradual healing process in the housing market is gaining traction.