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CoreLogic: Foreclosure Inventory Down Nearly 20 Percent in 2012

by Peter Thomas Ricci

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Foreclosure inventory fell nearly 20 percent from 2012 to 2013, with completed foreclosure declining as well.

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 Illinois – Slowly Improving

CoreLogic also had information specific to all 50 states, and it found that the foreclosure situation in Illinois continues to show improvement.

At the end of 2012, Illinois’ foreclosure inventory made up 4.5 percent of all homes with a mortgage in the state, which is the fifth highest in the U.S.; however, Illinois’ foreclosure inventory has fallen by 0.8 percentage points from 2011, and its 30,841 completed foreclosures in 2012 were good for the second highest in the U.S. among judicial states.

So though much has been written about Illinois’ judicial approach, and how it lags behind other states in the union in dealing with its foreclosure inventory, it does appear that progress is being made in the Land of Lincoln.

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