The year-end foreclosure numbers are in for 2015, and they are significantly lower than they were at the end of the previous year and at or below pre-crisis levels in some areas, according to Black Knight Financial Services' “First Look” at Mortgage Data for December 2015  released on Friday.
Foreclosure inventory, or the number of residential mortgage loans in active foreclosure, tumbled year-over-year by 22 percent as of the end of December, totaling about 689,000 properties (about 1.37 percent of all residential mortgages). The decline of 22 percent represented approximately 192,000 properties, according to Black Knight.
The number of loans that were delinquent but not in foreclosure declined year-over-year by about 425,000 properties, down to approximately 2.4 million, according to Black Knight. The number of seriously delinquent properties (90 or more days overdue but not in foreclosure) dropped by 280,000 year-over-year in December down to about 808,000. In fact, the inventory of 90-plus day delinquent loans dropped over-the-month in December by about 19,000, reversing two straight months of increases.
The total non-current inventory, which includes all residential mortgage loans 30 days or more overdue or in foreclosure, was approximately 3.1 million as of the end of December 2015—a decline of about 618,000 from the end of 2014, according to Black Knight, and its lowest level at the end of one month since June 2007. Meanwhile, the prepayment rate, which is historically a good indicator of refinance activity, spiked by 24 percent over-the-month in December up to about 1.14 percent after a lackluster November.
Foreclosure starts reversed their field in December after two straight months of declines, leaping by 17 percent from November to December up to 78,100. They were still down by about 14 percent over-the-year in December.