News Column

Foreclosure Inventory Drops Sharply

July 9, 2013

Staff Reports --


The inventory of foreclosed homes in the U.S. declined steeply from the first quarter of 2013, according to a leading residential property report.

CoreLogic's May National Foreclosure Report showed 52,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in May 2013 compared to 71,000 in May 2012, a decline of 27 percent year-over-year. Foreclosures were up 3.5 percent from April to May 2013.

"We continue to see a sharp drop in foreclosures around the country and with it a decrease in the size of the shadow inventory," Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, said in a statement. "Affordability, despite the rise in home prices over the past year, and consumer confidence are big contributors to these positive trends."

Shadow inventory

The report showed the residential shadow inventory in April 2013 was less than 2 million units, a 5.3-month supply. That represents a drop of 34 percent from its height in 2010, when it stood at 3 million homes, and a drop of 18 percent from a 2.4 million units a year ago.

Completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 a month from 2000-2006, according to CoreLogic.

As of May 2013, about 1 million homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.4 million a year earlier, a year-over-year decrease of 29 percent.

Foreclosure inventory was down 3.3 percent month-to-month from April 2013-May 2013. The foreclosure inventory in May 2013 was made up of 2.6 percent of all homes with a mortgage compared to 3.5 percent a year earlier.

At the end of May there were fewer than 2.3 million mortgages, or 5.6 percent, in serious delinquency, defined as 90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure.

"The stock of seriously delinquent homes, which is the main driver of shadow inventory, is at the lowest level since December 2008," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

He also said that the shadow inventory has dropped in 42 states during the past year, "resulting in rapid declines in shadow inventory for the first quarter of 2013."

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures during the 12-month period ending in May were Florida, California, Michigan, Texas and Georgia, accounting for nearly half of the completed foreclosures in the country.

The five states or districts with the lowest number were the District of Columbia, Hawaii, North Dakota, West Virginia and Maine.

The value of shadow inventory stood at $314 billion in April, down from $386 billion a year prior.

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