By Peter Ricci
Foreclosure inventory fell in 2012 from 1.5 million homes to 1.2 million, a 19.5 percent decline that further demonstrates the progress the U.S. real estate made last year, according to the latest National Foreclosure Report from CoreLogic.
Additionally, foreclosure inventory was down 4.2 percent from November to December, and the national foreclosure inventory now represents just 3 percent of all homes with a mortgage.
Foreclosure Inventory – Sign of the Times
Mark Fleming, CoreLogic’s chief economist, said that the improvement of the nation’s foreclosure inventory was the brightest finding of the entire National Foreclosure Report.
“The most encouraging foreclosure trend reported here is that the inventory of foreclosed properties is almost 20 percent smaller than a year ago,” Fleming said. “This big improvement indicates we are working toward resolving the backlog of the most distressed assets in the shadow inventory.”
Along with CoreLogic’s findings on foreclosure inventory, though, it also uncovered promising numbers for completed foreclosures:
- There were 56,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in December 2012, down from 71,000 a year before and from 58,000 in November.
- That’s a 21 percent year-over-year decline, and it brings the housing market ever closer to its previous equilibrium for completed foreclosures; as CoreLogic noted, from 2000 to 2006, the U.S. averaged 21,000 completed foreclosures.
- Since September 2008, there have been 4.1 million completed foreclosures in the U.S.
Foreclosures in Texas – Out in Front
CoreLogic also had information specific to all 50 states, and it found that the foreclosure situation in Texas continues to show improvement.
Unsurprisingly, CoreLogic’s report reaffirmed that Texas’ foreclosure inventory is in pretty solid shape. At the end of 2012, Texas’ foreclosure inventory made up just 1.0 percent of all homes with a mortgage in the state, which is tied for the third lowest among non-judicial states; also, Texas’ foreclosure inventory fell by 0.4 percentage points from 2011, and its 56,763 completed foreclosures in 2012 were good for the fourth highest in the U.S.