Foreclosure inventory and the number of completed foreclosures nationwide both saw significant year-over-year declines in September, according to CoreLogic's September 2014 National Foreclosure Report released on Wednesday.
Foreclosure inventory, which includes all homes in some state of foreclosure, totaled approximately 607,000 homes in September 2014 – a decline of 34.3 percent from the same month a year ago, when foreclosure inventory was reported to be about 924,000. Foreclosure inventory comprised about 1.6 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage in September 2014, down from 2.3 percent in September 2013.
September 2014 was the 20th consecutive month in which there was at least a 20 percent year-over-year decline in nationwide foreclosure inventory, according to CoreLogic. Twenty-nine states had a year-over-year decline in foreclosure inventory that was greater than 30 percent, led by Arizona (47.6 percent) and Utah (47.1 percent).
CoreLogic reported that about 46,000 foreclosures were completed in the U.S. in September, which is down 32.6 percent from September 2013, when 68,000 foreclosures were completed. The number of completed foreclosures last month marked a decline of 61 percent from its peak reached in 2010. In the years immediately before the housing crisis began in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged about 21,000 per month nationwide for the years 2000 to 2006.
"The level of serious delinquencies has rapidly declined over the last few years, but the pace of improvement is beginning to recede," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. "As of June, serious delinquencies were 26 percent lower than the prior year, but as of September serious delinquencies were 21 percent lower."
Month over month, completed foreclosures experienced a slight increase from the revised number of 44,000 in August up to 46,000 in September, CoreLogic reported.
"The number of completed foreclosures ticked up a bit in September from the prior month and is still running above historic norms," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Although the foreclosure inventory and rates of seriously delinquent loans remain elevated in many states, progress is being made and this bodes well for a better housing market in 2015 and beyond."