Delinquencies, Foreclosures, and Inventories Improve in CoreLogic Data

According to CoreLogic, the Santa Ana
California based provider of information and business services, there were a
total of 830,000 foreclosures nationwide in 2011 compared to 1.1 million in
2010.  The most recent monthly numbers, for
December 2011, were down from foreclosures both a month earlier and in December

There were 55,000 foreclosures during
the month of December, a drop of 2,000 from the November total and a
significant decrease from a year earlier when there were 67,000, a -15 percent
change.  According to CoreLogic, there
have been approximately 3.2 million foreclosures since the beginning of the
financial crisis in September 2008.

The foreclosure inventory – the stock of
homes in the process of foreclosure – also decreased on an annual and accelerating
basis.  There were 1.4 million homes, 3.4
percent of all mortgaged homes in the U.S.*, in the inventory in December.  This was a drop of 8.4 percent in the
inventory compared to December 2010.  The
November inventory had declined on an annual basis by 5.3 percent.

The serious delinquency rate, homeowners
who are 90 or more days in arrears on their mortgage payments, improved to 7.3
percent in December from 7.8 percent one year earlier but was up one basis
point compared to November.

CoreLogic provides a metric that
indicates the rate at which servicers are processing distressed assets.  The distressed clearing ratio is calculated
by dividing the number of sales of lender-owned properties (REO) by completed
foreclosures.  The higher the ratio the
faster the REO inventory is clearing.  In
December the ratio was 1.03; in November it was 0.94.

Mark Fleming, chief economist with
CoreLogic, commented, “The inventory of foreclosed properties has begun to
shrink and the pace at which properties are entering foreclosure is
slowing.  While foreclosure filings are
being curtailed by a variety of judicial and regulatory constraints, mortgage
servicers are completing REO sales faster than they are completing foreclosures.  This is the first time in a year that REO
sales have outpaced completed foreclosures and part of the reason for the decrease
in the foreclosure inventory.”

Of the top 100 markets tracked by CoreLogic,
34 showed an increase in the foreclosure inventory in December versus one year
earlier.  In November inventories in 46
of the markets had increased.

States with the highest percentage of foreclosure
inventories were Florida (11.9), New Jersey (6.4), Illinois (5.4), Nevada (5.4)
and New York (4.6).

*Approximately one-third of U.S. homes
are owned without a mortgage.  These
properties do not enter into the calculations of distressed clearing ratios.

…(read more)

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