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Foreclosure activity continues downward slope

Foreclosure activity ticked up slightly this past September, compared with the prior month, but over the longer term the major foreclosure metrics have continued on a downward course, with a significant decline in foreclosure inventory recorded year over year. 

Completed foreclosures totaled 36,000, down 7 percent compared to the same month a year earlier, CoreLogic reported. The foreclosure inventory, or the number of properties in some stage of foreclosure, has fallen 31 percent since September 2015, the company said.

ForecloseOn a month-over-month basis, however, completed foreclosures rose over 5 percent from the August level (34,000). On a monthly basis, the number of completed foreclosures has bounced around over the past year, from a high of 40,000 in October 2015 to a low of 26,000 in July.

The longer-range trend shows sharp declines in the numbers of distressed properties, loan delinquencies and foreclosures. The numbers have been moving toward the pre-recession levels as problem properties left over from the downturn get worked out. 

Seriously delinquent mortgages were at the lowest level since August 2007, CoreLogic said.

“September's serious delinquency rate dropped by 25 percent compared to a year earlier, the third consecutive monthly acceleration in the rate of decline,” said CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. “This improvement is continued evidence of the recovery in the housing market, especially given the decreases were fairly uniform in most cities across the country.” 

Five states accounted for nearly one-half of all the completed foreclosures nationally over the 12 months through this past September, led by Florida (53,000). Notably, Florida also has had the greatest decline in its inventory of distressed properties over the past year. The foreclosure inventory in the Sunshine State has fallen nearly 42 percent since September 2015, CoreLogic said.

Other top states in terms of completed foreclosures in the 12 months ending in September 2016 include Texas (27,000), Michigan (24,000), Ohio (23,000) and Georgia (21,000).  


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