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Foreclosure pipeline drains out

Foreclosure inventory drops by a third year-over-year

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The number of U.S. homes in foreclosure fell 29% in November with 46,000 completed foreclosures reported, a decrease from 64,000 in November 2012, CoreLogic's foreclosure inventory report found this week.

On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures declined 8.3%, from 50,000 in October 2013.

As a whole, the national residential shadow inventory hit 1.7 million homes as of October 2013, accounting for a value of $256 billion, falling 24.6% from $348 billion a year earlier.

In addition, as of November 2013, approximately 812,000 homes in the United States were in some stage of foreclosure, compared to 1.2 million in November 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 34%.

But month-over-month, the foreclosure inventory dipped 4.6% from October to November.

The foreclosure inventory as of November 2013 represented 2.1% of all homes with a mortgage compared to 3% in November 2012.

"Nationally, loan performance continues to improve. The rate of seriously delinquent loans is at a new five-year low, down 26% relative to a year ago," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

"The shadow inventory continues to decline as well, decreasing at an average monthly rate of 46,000 units over the last year. Healthy market levels of shadow inventory are around 650,000 units, so there is more to be done, but the trend is in the right direction," Fleming explained.

Meanwhile, at the end of November 2013, there were fewer than 2 million mortgages, or 5%, in serious delinquency defined as 90 days or more past due, including those loans in foreclosure or real-estate owned (REO). The rate of seriously delinquent mortgages is at its lowest level since November 2008.

"Consumer confidence is definitely up as the economic rebound gathers more steam," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

"As the negative equity crisis abates and home prices continue to rise, most people are prioritizing the payment of their mortgage obligations. The result is a double-digit drop in the inventory of seriously delinquent homes in 48 states as of October," Nallathambi added.  

Individaully, the five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in November 2013 were: Florida (115,000), Michigan (54,000), California (42,000), Texas (40,000) and Georgia (36,000). These five states total to nearly half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

On the other side, the five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures included the District of Columbia (51), North Dakota (401), Hawaii (480), West Virginia (524) and Wyoming (716). 

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