November Foreclosure Inventory Nears Pre-Crisis Average

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In the month of November, 26,000 U.S. home foreclosures were completed, down 2.4% month over month and down 25.9% from a total of 35,000 in November 2015, according to CoreLogic. The research firm notes that the current foreclosure inventory totals 0.8% of all homes with a mortgage in the United States, down 0.4 points compared with November of last year.

The number of U.S. homes currently in some stage of foreclosure totals approximately 325,000, compared with 465,000 in November 2015. That represents a decline in the national foreclosure inventory of 30% compared with last November.

The four states and the District of Columbia with the largest foreclosed inventory as a percentage of mortgaged properties are New Jersey (2.8%), New York (2.6%), Hawaii (1.7%), Maine (1.7%) and D.C. (1.6%). The five states with the lowest inventories of foreclosed properties are Colorado (0.2%), Arizona (0.3%), California (0.3%), Minnesota (0.3%) and Utah (0.3%).

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in the past 12 months were Florida (48,000), Michigan (31,000), Texas (25,000), Ohio (22,000) and Georgia (20,000). The five with the fewest foreclosures in the prior 12 months through November were District of Columbia (221), North Dakota (260), West Virginia (375), Alaska (616) and Montana (627).

CoreLogic CEO Anand Nallathambi said:

The 7 percent appreciation in home prices through November 2016 has added an average of $12,500 in home-equity wealth per homeowner across the U.S. during the year. Sustained growth in home prices is clearly bolstering homeowners’ spending power and balance sheets and, as a result, spurring a continued drop in defaults.

Of the 10 largest U.S. metro areas, the foreclosure inventory was highest in the New York area, at 2.5%. The Miami metro area’s foreclosure inventory totaled 2.1%, with the Las Vegas metro and Chicago at 1.1%. The lowest totals were posted in the San Francisco (0.1%) area and in Denver (0.2%).

A total of 20 states posted year-over-year declines of more than 30% in foreclosure inventory for the month of October. Washington’s foreclosure inventory has fallen 42.4% in the past 12 months and Florida’s has dropped by 41.8%.

According to CoreLogic, the current foreclosure rate of 0.8% is the same as the June 2007 rate, and the foreclosure inventory has declined every month for the past 61 months. Before the collapse in the housing market in 2007, the average number of foreclosures completed in a month was 21,000.