Millions of homeowners are still dealing with the side effects of the housing bubble and credit meltdown of yesteryear, but the home foreclosure market is slowly showing signs of progress.
The number of completed foreclosures dropped to 45,000 units in December, representing a 14 percent decline from 52,000 units a year earlier, according to a new analysis by CoreLogic. However, completed foreclosures averaged only 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006. Since the beginning of the financial crisis in September 2008, approximately 4.8 million foreclosures have been completed.
“Clearly, 2013 was a transitional year for residential property in the United States. Higher home prices and lower shadow inventory levels, together with a slowly improving economy, are hopeful signals that we are turning a long-awaited corner,” explains Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive officer of CoreLogic, in a press release. “The housing market should continue to heal in 2014, but we expect progress to remain very slow.”
The national foreclosure inventory — which contains homes in some stage of the foreclosure process — plunged 31 percent year-over-year to about 837,000 units in December. In fact, foreclosure inventory has declined for 12 consecutive months by at least 20 percent on a year-over-year basis. Florida, New Jersey, and New York have the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of mortgaged homes, but 36 states have an inventory level below the national rate. Let’s take a look at the 12 states with the lowest foreclosure inventory.