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Foreclosure and Shadow Inventory Both Decline in February

CoreLogic released its National Foreclosure Report for February, 2014, reporting 43,000 completed foreclosures for the month, a 13.1 percent decrease from January, 2014. Yearly, foreclosures declined 15 percent from February, 2013.

Comparatively, foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month before the housing crisis from 2000 to 2006. Since September, 2008, 4.9 million foreclosures have been completed.

As of February, 2014, 752,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, compared to the previous year’s figure of 1.2 million. The drop in foreclosure inventory represents a year-over-year decrease of 35 percent and a drop of 3.3 percent from January, 2014.

February makes 28 consecutive months where inventory has declined on a year-over-year basis.

"Although there is good news that completed foreclosures are trending lower, the bigger news is the impressive decline in the foreclosure and shadow inventories," said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

Foreclosure inventory represents 1.9 percent of all homes with a mortgage in February, down a full point from the February, 2013 total inventory percentage of 2.9 percent.

Shadow inventory, or unsold foreclosures or homes that owners delay putting on the market until prices improve, has also decreased from 1.724 million in December, 2013 to 1.708 million to January, 2014. Shadow inventory declined 2.9 percent over the fourth quarter of 2013, and is down 22 percent year-over-year in January.

"The stock of seriously delinquent home and the foreclosure rate are back to levels last seen in the final quarter of 2008. The shadow inventory has also declined year over year for the past three years as the housing market continues to heal, including double-digit declines for the past 16 consecutive months," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

Seriously delinquent mortgages fell 23.8 percent year over year in February, and dropped from 1.8 percent to 1.5 percent from January to February, 2014.

States with the highest numbers of completed foreclosures include Florida (118,000), Michigan (50,000), Texas (39,000), California (37,000), and Georgia (34,000).

States with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of mortgaged homes were New Jersey (6.2 percent), Florida (6.0 percent), New York (4.7 percent), Maine (3.4 percent), and Connecticut (3.2 percent).

34 states and the District of Columbia have foreclosure rates lower than the national rate.

States with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of mortgaged homes were Wyoming (.3 percent), Alaska (.4 percent), North Dakota (.5 percent), Nebraska (.5 percent), and Colorado (.6 percent).

About Author: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

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