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Completed foreclosures rise 10.5 percent in January

The state of foreclosures is improving, despite a setback in January that was easy to predict would hit, given various foreclosure freezes in the fourth quarter.

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Completed foreclosures rise in January

From January 2012 to January 2013, completed foreclosures have fallen from 75,000 to 61,000, representing a 17.8 percent decrease, according to CoreLogic’s National Foreclosure Report issued this morning. The company says the foreclosure inventory has fallen year-over-year for 15 consecutive months, but in January, completed foreclosure numbers reflected a 10.5 percent increase from December’s revised levels.

Although the increase in foreclosures is not positive news, it is an indicator we expected to go up, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac froze foreclosures from December 19th through January 2nd, and offered Superstorm Sandy victims a 90 day suspension of foreclosures as the region recovered.

Additionally, CoreLogic notes that prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. 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 4.2 million completed foreclosures across the country.

1.2 million homes in some state of foreclosure

Marking a 21 percent annual decrease, roughly 1.2 million homes were in some stage of foreclosure in January, with the foreclosure inventory representing 2.9 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 3.5 percent in January 2012.

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“The backlog of distressed assets continues to fade as the foreclosure inventory has fallen to a level not seen since mid-2009, with less than 3 percent of all mortgages in foreclosure,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The improvement is widespread as only six states and 13 of the largest 100 metro areas had an increase in the foreclosure rate year over year.”

“We still have over a million homes in some stage of foreclosure which is too high, but the continuing downward trend in completed foreclosures is a very positive signal that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “We expect this trend will continue in 2013 as the housing market stabilizes and purchase activity picks up.”

Regional performance varied

  • The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in January 2013 were: California (96,000), Florida (95,000), Michigan (74,000), Texas (59,000) and Georgia (50,000).These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
  • The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in January 2013 were: District of Columbia (96), Hawaii (458), North Dakota (508), Maine (538) and West Virginia (602).
  • The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (10.0 percent), New Jersey (7.2 percent), New York (5.1 percent), Nevada (4.7 percent) and Illinois (4.6 percent).
  • The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.6 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.8 percent) and Colorado (0.9 percent).

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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