Fewer homes were added to foreclosure inventory in November as short sales become a more common tool to prevent foreclosure, according to a recent ""CoreLogic"":http://www.corelogic.com/ report.[IMAGE]
Data from CoreLogic revealed 55,000 homes were lost to foreclosure in November. The figure represents a 23 percent decrease from November 2011 and a 6 percent decrease from October's upwardly revised 59,000.
""The pace of completed foreclosures has significantly improved over a year ago as short sales gain popularity as a disposition method,"" said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a release. ""Additionally, the inventory of foreclosed properties continues to decline while the housing market demonstrates an ongoing ability to absorb the distressed sales that result from completed foreclosures.""[COLUMN_BREAK]
Foreclosure inventory is also down, with about 1.2 million homes, or 3 percent of homes with a mortgage in foreclosure inventory, representing an 18 percent decrease from a year ago.
Although foreclosure inventory is shrinking, the number of homes lost to foreclosure is still high compared to pre-crises levels.
Before the housing market decline in 2007, CoreLogic noted completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. Since September 2008, about 4 million homes have been lost to foreclosure, according to CoreLogic.
The states that saw the highest number of completed foreclosures in a one-year period ending in November 2012 were California (102,000), Florida (94,000), Michigan (75,000), Texas (58,000) and Georgia (52,000). The five states alone account for half of all completed foreclosures.
The state with the highest foreclosure inventory rate as a percentage was Florida, which led with a rate of 10.4 percent. New Jersey's foreclosure inventory rate of 7.3 percent gave it the second highest ranking. Other states in the top five were New York (5.1 percent), Nevada (4.7 percent), and Illinois (4.7 percent).
Two metros with notably high foreclosure inventory rates were found in Florida. Tampa had a rate of 10.9 percent and Orlando a rate of 10.5 percent.
Other metros with a high percentage of inventory in foreclosure included Nassau-Suffolk, New York (6.7 percent); Edison-New Brunswick, New Jersey (6.1 percent); New York (5.6 percent); and Chicago (5.6 percent).