Lenders seized fewer U.S. homes in December, while the number of properties awaiting foreclosure also declined in a sign the housing market is working through one of its biggest challenges, data from the financial, property and consumer analysts at CoreLogic showed on Friday.

The data also showed that in December there were 56,000 foreclosures completed, a fairly significant drop from 58,000 in November and 71,000 a year ago.

Before the housing market collapsed, monthly foreclosures averaged 21,000 between 2000 and 2006. Since the heart of the financial crisis in September 2008, there have been about 4.1 million completed foreclosures.


For the year, 767,000 foreclosures were done in 2012, down from 916,547 the year before.
About 1.2 million homes were in some stage of the foreclosure process, down from 1.5 million in December 2011. That amounts to 3 percent of all mortgaged homes.

“This big improvement indicates we are working toward resolving the backlog of the most distressed assets in the shadow inventory,” Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in a statement.

By the Numbers

The following is data from the CoreLogic’s latest National Foreclosure Report, which provides monthly data on completed foreclosures, foreclosure inventory and 90-plus delinquency rates.

These five states account for almost half of all completed real estate foreclosures nationally ending in December 2012:

  1. California (100,000)
  2. Florida (98,000)
  3. Michigan (74,000)
  4. Texas (57,000)
  5. Georgia (49,000)

The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in December 2012 were:

  1. District of Columbia (89)
  2. Hawaii (421)
  3. North Dakota (521)
  4. Maine (537)
  5. West Virginia (645)

The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were:

  1. Florida (10.1 percent)
  2. New Jersey (7.0 percent)
  3. New York (5.1 percent)
  4. Nevada (4.7 percent)
  5. Illinois (4.5 percent)

The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were:

  1. Wyoming (0.4 percent)
  2. Alaska (0.6 percent)
  3. North Dakota (0.7 percent)
  4. Nebraska (0.8 percent)
  5. Colorado (1.0 percent)

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This is filed under National Markets.

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