3 Undeniable Signs That the Foreclosure Markets Have Improved

by Peter Thomas Ricci

It’s been a slow, steady recovery for the nation’s foreclosure markets, but CoreLogic’s latest report solidified just how far they’ve traveled.


The release of CoreLogic’s latest National Foreclosure Report, which covered economic data through September, made one thing clear – the housing market is clearly moving in the right direction, and the foreclosure markets have made considerable progress since 2008.

How can we be so sure of those statements? Here are five things to consider:

1. Serious Delinquencies Are Down – Just 5.2 percent of all residential mortgages are now seriously delinquent; though that’s still historically high, it’s the lowest level since December 2008.

2. Foreclosure Inventory Is WAY Down – Even more positive was the progress in foreclosure inventory. The 51,000 foreclosures completed in September represented a 39 percent decline from last year, and foreclosure inventory has fallen 24 percent year-to-date. As of September, foreclosure inventory represents 2.3 percent of all mortgages homes; that’s down from 3.2 percent in September 2012, or, a decline of 448,000 homes.

3. The Foreclosure Process Is Thinning Out – Roughly 902,000 homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure in September, down from 1.4 million a year ago; that’s a 33 percent decline! It also represents the 23rd straight month of year-over-year declines for the foreclosure process.

Anand Nallathambi, the president and CEO of CoreLogic, framed the report’s key findings this way: “The number of seriously delinquent mortgages continues to drop across the country at a rapid rate, with every state showing year-on-year declines in foreclosure inventory. We’re not out of the woods yet, but these are encouraging signs for a return to a healthier housing market in the U.S.”

A Local Snapshot of the Foreclosure Market

Those national statistics are quite positive, but how consistent are they with our local market?

As it turns out, quite consistent! Though Chicagoland’s foreclosure inventory of 4.1 percent is still relatively high (and though 8.1 percent of mortgaged properties are still in serious delinquency), inventory has fallen by 1.9 percentage points, which is good for a 32 percent decline. Also, more than 20,000 foreclosures were completed in Chicagoland in the last year, which was the second-most among metropolitan areas tracked by CoreLogic.

So like the rest of the nation, we’re continuing to make progress on the distressed property front.

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