Foreclosure inventory declined by 24.3 percent and completed foreclosures declined by 17.6 percent compared with September 2014, according to the recently released September 2015 National Foreclosure Report. The number of foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 67,000 in September 2014 to 55,000 in September 2015. The number of completed foreclosures in September 2015 is a decrease of 52.8 percent from the peak of 117,438 in September 2010.
Completed foreclosures reflect the total number of homes lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 6 million completed foreclosures across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been about 8 million homes lost to foreclosure.
As of September 2015, the national foreclosure inventory included approximately 470,000, or 1.2 percent, of all homes with a mortgage compared with 621,000 homes, or 1.6 percent, in September 2014.
It also reports that the number of mortgages in serious delinquency (defined as 90 days or more past due, including those loans in foreclosure or REO) declined by 21.2 percent from September 2014 to September 2015 with 1.3 million mortgages, or 3.4 percent, in this category. This is the lowest serious delinquency rate since December 2007. The foreclosure rate (defined as the share of all loans in the foreclosure process) was at 1.2 percent as of September 2015, which is back to the December 2007 level.
The largest improvements in the foreclosure inventory continue to be in judicial states on the East Coast such as Florida and New Jersey, while the overwhelming majority of states are experiencing declines in their foreclosure rates, four states experienced small increases compared with a year ago.
The rate of delinquencies continues to drop back closer to historic norms powered by improved economic conditions and tighter post-recession underwriting standards, as we head into 2016, based on almost every major metric, the fundamentals underpinning the housing market are healthier than any time since 2007.
Additional highlights as of September 2015:
- On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures increased by 49.5 percent to 55,000 from the 37,000 reported in August 2015. The one-month surge in foreclosures was partially the result of an annual public auctioning of thousands of tax-foreclosed properties in Wayne County, Mich., of which Detroit is the county seat. As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
- The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2015 were: Florida (91,000), Michigan (45,000), Texas (32,000), Georgia (26,000) and California (26,000).These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
- The four states and the District of Columbia had the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2015 were: District of Columbia (69), North Dakota (310), Wyoming (498), West Virginia (593) and Hawaii (690).
- Four states and the District of Columbia had the highest foreclosure inventory rate in September 2015: New Jersey (4.6 percent), New York (3.7 percent), Florida (2.6 percent), Hawaii (2.5 percent) and the District of Columbia (2.4 percent).
- The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory rate in September 2015 were: Alaska (0.3 percent), Minnesota (0.4 percent), Nebraska (0.4 percent), Arizona (0.4 percent) and North Dakota (0.4 percent).