January Foreclosures Highest in Florida, Michigan

Paul Ausick

In the month of January, 38,000 U.S. home foreclosures were completed, down 1.6% month over month and down 16.2% from a total of 46,000 in January 2015, according to CoreLogic. The research firm notes that the current foreclosure inventory totals 1.2% of all homes with a mortgage in the United States, down from 1.5% in January of last year.

The number of U.S. homes currently in some stage of foreclosure totals approximately 456,000, compared with 583,000 in January 2015. That represents a decline in the national foreclosure inventory of 21.7% compared with January a year ago.

The four states and the District of Columbia with the largest foreclosed inventory as a percentage of mortgaged properties are New Jersey (4.3%), New York (3.5%), Hawaii (2.4%), Florida (2.3%) and D.C. (2.3%). The five states with the lowest inventories of foreclosed properties are Alaska (0.3%), Minnesota (0.4%), Colorado (0.4%), Arizona (0.4%) and Utah (0.4%).

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in the past 12 months were Florida (74,000), Michigan (49,000), Texas (29,000), California (25,000) and Ohio (24,000). The five states with the fewest foreclosures in the prior 12 months through December were District of Columbia (91), North Dakota (298), Wyoming (551), West Virginia (589) and Alaska (707).

CoreLogic’s chief economist said:

In January, the national foreclosure rate was 1.2 percent, down to one-third the peak from exactly five years earlier in January 2011, a remarkable improvement. The months’ supply of foreclosure fell to 12 months, which is modestly above the nine-month rate seen 10 years earlier and indicates the market’s ability to clear the stock of foreclosures is close to normal.

The company’s CEO added:

The improvement in distressed properties continues across the country in every state which is contributing to the lack of stock of available homes and resulting in price escalation in many markets. So far the trend toward lower delinquency and foreclosures has been immune from shocks from such things as the collapse in oil prices attesting to the durability of the housing recovery.

Of the 10 largest U.S. metro areas, the foreclosure inventory was highest in the New York area, at 3.5%. The Miami metro area’s foreclosure inventory totaled 3.1%, and the Las Vegas area had the third-highest total at 1.7%. The lowest totals were posted in the San Francisco (0.1%) area and in Denver (0.3%).

Florida and Nevada posted year-over-year declines of more than 30% in foreclosure inventory. Florida’s foreclosure inventory has fallen nearly 37% in the past 12 months, and Nevada’s has dropped by nearly 31%.

According to CoreLogic, the current foreclosure rate of 1.2% is the same as the November 2007 rate, and the foreclosure inventory has declined every month for the past 51 months. Before the collapse in the housing market in 2007, the average number of foreclosures completed in a month was 21,000.