CoreLogic: Foreclosure Rate Down to 1%

CoreLogic, Irvine, Calif., reported the nation’s foreclosure rate fell to 1 percent in May–still double the long-term average foreclosure rate, but its lowest level in years.

The company’s monthly National Foreclosure Report said mortgage lenders and servicers completed 38,000 foreclosures in May, a 5.5 percent from 36,000 reported in April, but down by nearly 7 percent from a year ago (41,000). Before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006. From the monthly peak in September 2010 (117,813), monthly foreclosures fell by nearly 68 percent.

CoreLogic also reported the national foreclosure inventory included 390,000, or 1.0 percent, of all homes with a mortgage, compared with 517,000 homes, or 1.3 percent, one year ago, a drop of 24.5 percent. The May foreclosure inventory rate fell to the lowest level for any month since October 2007.

Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, CoreLogic reported 6.3 million completed foreclosures nationally; since homeownership rates peaked in second quarter 2004, 8.3 million homes were lost to foreclosure.

CoreLogic also reports that the number of mortgages in serious delinquency declined by 21.6 percent from year over year, with 1.1 million mortgages, or 2.8 percent, in this category. The May serious delinquency rate is the lowest in more than eight years, since October 2007.

Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, said the foreclosure rate, despite remaining elevated, masks the underlying progress at the state level, noting 29 states had foreclosure rates below the national average, and all but North Dakota experienced declines in their foreclosure rate compared to the prior year.

“Delinquency and foreclosure rates continue to drop as we experience the benefits of a combination of tight underwriting, job and income growth and a steady rise in home prices,” said CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi. “We expect these factors to remain in place for the remainder of this year and for delinquency and foreclosure rates to decline even further. As we finally move past the housing crisis, we need to increase our focus on expanding the supply of affordable housing and access to credit for first-time homebuyers in sustainable ways to ensure the long-term health of the U.S. housing market.”

Other report highlights:
–Month-over-month, the foreclosure inventory fell by 3.0 percent.
–States with the highest number of completed foreclosures were Florida (63,000), Michigan (45,000), Texas (27,000), Ohio (23,000) and California (23,000).These states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
–States with the lowest number of completed foreclosures: the District of Columbia (139), North Dakota (323), West Virginia (494), Alaska (648) and Montana (690).
–States with the highest foreclosure inventory rate: New Jersey (3.6 percent), New York (3.2 percent), Hawaii (2.1 percent), the District of Columbia (2.0 percent) and Maine (1.9 percent).
–States with the lowest foreclosure inventory rate: Alaska (0.3 percent), Arizona (0.3 percent), Colorado (0.3 percent), Minnesota (0.3 percent) and Utah (0.3 percent).