There were 39,000 completed foreclosures nationwide in December 2014, a drop from 46,000 last year, marking a year-over-year decline of 13.7% and a fall of 66% from the pear of completed foreclosures in September 2010, Corelogic’s (CLGX) national foreclosure report said.
The 12-month sum of completed foreclosures for 2014, at 563,294, is at its lowest point since November 2007 when it was 589,570 and has declined every month for the past 34 consecutive months.
On a monthly basis, completed foreclosures were down 4.9% from the 41,000 reported in November 2014.
To put it in perspective, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5.5 million completed foreclosures across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been approximately 7 million homes lost to foreclosure.
“In 2014, the annual sum of completed foreclosures declined 15% from the 662,000 reported in 2013," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. “Completed foreclosures last year were less than half the 1.2 million peak in 2010, but remain twice the level of normal activity over 10 years ago.”
As of December 2014, approximately 552,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, down from 840,000 in December 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 34.3% and representing 38 consecutive months of year-over-year declines.
The foreclosure inventory as of December 2014 made up 1.4% of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.1% in December 2013.
Monthly, the foreclosure inventory was down 2.9% from November 2014. The current foreclosure rate of 1.4% is back to March 2008 levels.
“The steady decline in the number of completed foreclosures is a good sign of healing in the U.S. housing market,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Nonetheless, there remain many pockets of the country with very high foreclosure inventories, underscoring the unevenness of the nation’s housing recovery.”