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Foreclosures, Foreclosure Inventory, Serious Delinquencies All Falling

Foreclosures are declining but continue to remain well above pre-crisis norms, according to CoreLogic’s October National Foreclosure Report released Monday.

During the month of October, the company reports 48,000 foreclosures were completed. That’s down 30 percent from the 68,000 reported in October of last year and down 25.6 percent from 64,000 in September.

While these declines are significant, CoreLogic pointed out in its report that prior to the crisis—between 2000 and 2006—foreclosures averaged about 21,000 per month, well below the current rate.

Regardless, foreclosures declined year-over-year in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in October.

States with the fewest foreclosures completed during the 12 months ending in October were the District of Columbia with just 57 foreclosures in a year’s time, followed by North Dakota (411 foreclosures), Hawaii (491), West Virginia (514), and Wyoming (694).

Five states accounted for half the nation’s foreclosures during the 12-month period. Those states include Florida (115,000), Michigan (50,000), California (46,000), Texas (43,000), and Georgia (39,000).

Just as completed foreclosures declined, so too did the industry’s foreclosure inventory, meaning the number of properties still in some stage of foreclosure.

The national foreclosure inventory stood at 879,000 homes, according to CoreLogic’s October data, down 31 percent from last October’s 1.3 million.

October’s foreclosure inventory accounted for 2.2 percent of all homes with outstanding mortgages, according to CoreLogic, which is down from a foreclosure inventory rate of 3.1 percent in October 2012.

“This is good news for the housing and mortgage finance markets, but the rate remains elevated relative to the pre-crisis level of about 0.6 percent,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

A “normal level” of foreclosure inventory “would be only a quarter of the current stock,” according to Fleming.

States with the highest percentages of foreclosure inventory are mostly located in the Northeast, which continues to lag the national recovery.

Florida, the No. 1 state for foreclosure inventory, is the only state in the top five that is not located in the Northeast. By CoreLogic’s assessment, Florida’s foreclosure inventory comprised 7.1 percent of its homes with outstanding mortgages in October.

New Jersey was not far behind with a rate of 6.7 percent, followed by New York (4.9 percent), Maine (3.8 percent), and Connecticut (3.7 percent).

The national serious delinquency rate stood at 5.1 percent, after falling more than 25 percent since last October, according to CoreLogic. This is its lowest level for serious delinquencies in almost five years, the company says.

As with completed foreclosures and foreclosure inventory, Florida also ranks highest when it comes to serious delinquencies with a rate of 11.6 percent. New Jersey falls in with the second highest rate, registering 10.6 percent.

These two judicial states are the only states in the nation where the serious delinquency rate is in the double-digits, according to CoreLogic’s data.

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