Foreclosures Fall In March And First Quarter–Corelogic

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The rolling ride created by housing news took a turn up. Corelogic reported a drop in foreclosures in March. Unlike data from many other research firms, the Corelogic information is only a month old and therefore has some relevance. Recent information from S&P/Case-Shiller and RealtyTrac show that one piece of information, taken on its own, is hardly useful. Sales, prices, and foreclosures change too much from market to market.

Corelogic’s National Foreclosure Report for March, which provides monthly data on completed foreclosures, foreclosure inventory and 90+ day delinquency rates showed

There were 69,000 completed foreclosures in March 2012 compared to 85,000 in March 2011 and 66,000 in February 2012. Through the first quarter of 2012, there were 198,000 completed foreclosures compared to 232,000 through the first quarter of 2011

Not all of the news was good however. National foreclosure inventory remains at staggering highs:

Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of March 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent, in March 2011 and 1.4 million, or 3.4 percent, in February 2012

And the most badly damaged markets have only recovered modestly and remain home price and foreclosure wastelands:

The five states with the highest foreclosure rates were: Florida (12.1 percent), New Jersey (6.6 percent), Illinois (5.4 percent), Nevada (4.9 percent) and New York (4.9 percent).

The hardest hit cities over the period from the housing peak in 2006 to the present remain on the list of those with high percentages of mortgages which are over 90 days delinquent. These include  Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, and Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, CA

Douglas A. McIntyre