Foreclosures continue to decline

CoreLogic, an information and analytics provider, has reported 57,000 completed foreclosures in the United States in September 2012, down from 83,000 in September 2011 and 59,000 in August 2012. 

Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.3% of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of September 2012 compared with 1.5 million, or 3.5%, in September 2011. Month-over-month, the national foreclosure inventory was down 1.1% from August 2012 to September 2012. The foreclosure inventory is the share of all mortgaged homes in any stage of the foreclosure process.

"The continuing downward trend in foreclosures, along with a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory, are signs of stabilization and improvement in the housing market," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Increasingly improving market conditions and industry and government policy are allowing distressed homeowners to pursue refinancing, loan modifications or short sales rather than foreclosures."

Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.

Other highlights of the September 2012 CoreLogic report:

• The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2012 were: California (108,000), Florida (92,000), Texas (59,000), Georgia (55,000) and Michigan (51,000). These five states account for 47.7% of all completed foreclosures nationally.

• The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2012 were: South Dakota (20), District of Columbia (58), Hawaii (436), North Dakota (583) and Maine (625).

• The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (11.5%), New Jersey (7.3%), New York (5.3%), Illinois (5.2%) and Nevada (4.9%).

• The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.5%), Alaska (0.7%), North Dakota (0.7%), Nebraska (0.9%) and South Dakota (1.1%).