In the month of April, 37,000 U.S. home foreclosures were completed, down 0.3% month over month and down 15.8% from a total of 43,000 in April 2015, according to CoreLogic. The research firm notes that the current foreclosure inventory totals 1.1% of all homes with a mortgage in the United States, down from 1.4% in April of last year.
The number of U.S. homes currently in some stage of foreclosure totals approximately 406,000, compared with 530,000 in April 2015. That represents a decline in the national foreclosure inventory of 23.4% compared with April 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 (3.7%), New York (3.2%), Hawaii (2.2%), D.C. (2.1%) and Florida (2%). The five states with the lowest inventories of foreclosed properties are Alaska (0.3%), Minnesota (0.3%), Utah (0.4%), Arizona (0.4%) and Colorado (0.4%).
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in the past 12 months were Florida (66,000), Michigan (47,000), Texas (27,000), Ohio (23,000) and California (23,000). The five with the fewest foreclosures in the prior 12 months through April were District of Columbia (128), North Dakota (317), West Virginia (482), Alaska (653) and Montana (695).
CoreLogic’s chief economist said:
The recovery in home prices and improved labor market have contributed to the drop in seriously delinquent rates. Over the 12 months through April, the CoreLogic Home Price Index for the U.S. rose 6.2 percent and the labor market gained 2.6 million jobs. We also found that the seriously delinquent rate fell by about three-quarters of a percentage point.
The company’s CEO added:
The number of homeowners who have negative equity has fallen by two-thirds since its 2010 peak, and the number of borrowers in foreclosure proceedings has also continued to drop. Despite this progress, about four million homeowners remained underwater at the end of the first quarter, and these borrowers are more vulnerable to foreclosure proceedings if they should fall delinquent.
Of the 10 largest U.S. metro areas, the foreclosure inventory was highest in the New York area, at 3.1%. The Miami metro area’s foreclosure inventory totaled 2.7%, and the Las Vegas area had the third-highest total at 1.6%. The lowest totals were posted in the San Francisco (0.1%) area and in Denver (0.3%).
Florida, Tennessee, Nevada, Michigan and Minnesota all posted year-over-year declines of more than 30% in foreclosure inventory. Florida’s foreclosure inventory has fallen 37% in the past 12 months and Tennessee’s has dropped by nearly 36%. Nevada’s foreclosure inventory fell by 32.7%, just ahead of Michigan’s drop of 32.6%. The foreclosure inventory fell by 30.2% in Minnesota.
According to CoreLogic, the current foreclosure rate of 1.1% is the same as the October 2007 rate, and the foreclosure inventory has declined every month for the past 54 months. Before the collapse in the housing market in 2007, the average number of foreclosures completed in a month was 21,000.