Foreclosures Keep Trending Down


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Fewer homes are being lost to foreclosure, with the number of completed foreclosures in October down 17 percent from one year earlier.

There were 58,000 homes repossessed through foreclosure in October, according to figures released today by the data analytics firm CoreLogic, representing a 17 percent annual decline from the 70,000 reported in October 2011.

The number of homes in foreclosure shrank as well, with 1.3 million residential properties reported in some stage of the process, down from 1.5 million one year earlier. The current figure represents 3.2 percent of all homes with a mortgage, down from 3.6 percent in Oct. 2011.

Called sign of recovering market

"A lower foreclosure inventory is a good indicator of improving housing markets," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "The downward trend in foreclosure inventories over the past year is yet another signal that a recovery in housing is gaining traction."

Month-to-month, completed foreclosures dropped sharply in October, with a 25 percent decline from the 77,000 reported for September. However, it should be noted that September's figures were revised upward from a level of 57,000 originally reported last month. The unusually large adjustment was attributed to an annual auction of tax delinquent properties in Wayne County, Michigan, home county of Detroit.

Nearly 4 million foreclosures since crash

By comparison, prior to the housing crash there were an average of 21,000 homes lost to foreclosure each month during the period from 2000 to 2006, according to CoreLogic. There have now been 3.9 million homes lost to foreclosure since the fiscal crisis hit in September 2008.

Nearly half of all homes lost to foreclosure over the past 12 months have been in just 12 states: California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Georgia.

The states currently with the most homes currently in foreclosure, as a share of all mortgaged homes, are Florida (11.1 percent), New Jersey (7.7 percent), New York (5.3 percent), Illinois (5.0 percent) and Nevada (4.8 percent).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Real Estate

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