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Foreclosures slow but nearly 2M homes in serious delinquency

Pace nearing pre-2008 levels

Notice of Foreclosure
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CoreLogic’s (CLGX) new national foreclosure report shows there were 43,000 completed foreclosures in the United States in February 2014, down from 51,000 in February 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 15%.

On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures decreased 13.1% from 50,000 in January 2014.

In all of 2013, CoreLogic’s numbers shows that 4 million homes returned to positive equity, bringing the total number of mortgaged homes with equity to 42.7 million at the start of 2014.

Nearly 6.5 million homes, or 13.3% of all residential properties with a mortgage, were still in negative equity at the end of 2013.

“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 Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Every state has had double-digit, year-over-year declines in foreclosure inventory, which is reflected in the $70 billion decline in the shadow inventory.”

Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure.

Since September 2008, there have been approximately 4.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.

As of February 2014, approximately 752,000 homes in the United States were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.2 million in February 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 35%.

Month over month, the foreclosure inventory was down 3.3% from January 2014. The foreclosure inventory as of February represented 1.9% of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.9% in February 2013.

At the end of February 2014, there were 1.9 million mortgages, or 4.9%, in serious delinquency, defined as 90 days or more past due, including those loans in foreclosure or real estate owned.

“The stock of seriously delinquent homes and the foreclosure rate are back to levels last seen in the final quarter of 2008,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “The shadow inventory has also declined year over year for the past 3 years as the housing market continues to heal,  including double-digit declines for the past 16 consecutive months.”

National residential shadow inventory was 1.7 million homes as of January 2014 compared to 2.2 million in January 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 23%.

That marks 24 consecutive months of decline, which has dropped 43% in that time.

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