While the number of completed foreclosures during the month of February 2016 was down by 10 percent year-over-year, February’s total is still way above the pre-crisis monthly average, according to CoreLogic’s February 2016 National Foreclosure Report released Tuesday.
Approximately 34,000 foreclosures were completed during February, which is down from February 2015’s total of 38,000 but still elevated compared to the monthly average of 2000 to 2006 of 21,000. February 2016’s total was down by 71.3 percent from the monthly peak of 117,776 reached in September 2010.
Completed foreclosures represent the total number of homes lost to foreclosure. Since the crisis began in September 2008, approximately 6.2 million homes have been lost to foreclosure. Since homeownership rates peaked in in the second quarter of 2004, the number of homes lost to foreclosure totals 8.2 million.
Despite February’s total of completed foreclosures remaining elevated above pre-crisis levels, other default-related metrics were positive. Foreclosure inventory for February 2016 totaled about 434,000, or approximately 1.1 percent of homes with a mortgage nationwide—the lowest rate since November 2007. February 2016’s foreclosure inventory rate of 1.5 percent represented a year-over-year decline of about 32 percent from February 2015’s total of 1.1 percent (571,000 homes).
The serious delinquency rate, which is the percentage of residential mortgages that are 90 days or more overdue or in foreclosure or REO) dropped by nearly 20 percent year-over-year in February 2016 down to 1.3 million mortgages, which calculates to 3.2 percent of total mortgages nationwide. It is the lowest level for the serious delinquency rate since November 2007.
“Job creation averaged 207,000 during the first two months of 2016, and incomes grew over the past year," said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “More income and improved household finances have helped bring serious delinquency rates down in nearly every state. However, serious delinquency rates increased in North Dakota and West Virginia, two states affected by price declines for the energy fuel each produces.”