There were 39,000 completed foreclosures across the nation in February, down from 46,000 in February 2014, marking 40 months of consecutive year-over-year declines, reported CoreLogic Tuesday.
February’s foreclosures were down 16 percent year-over-year. The seriously delinquent rate is at 4.0 percent, the lowest level since June 2008, the eve of the financial crisis and housing market collapse.
But perspective is key. The United States is still in an economic recovery mode and the foreclosure crisis is far from over. Before the beginning of the housing market decline in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006. That’s less than half of February 2015’s figure.
On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures were down by 11.6 percent. Completed foreclosures represent the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure.
About 553,000 homes in the United States were in some stage of foreclosure in February, compared to 761,000 in February 2014. The foreclosure inventory was down 1.4 percent from January 2015.
“The number of homes in foreclosure proceedings fell by 27 percent from a year ago and stands at about one-third of what it was at the trough of the housing cycle,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic. “While the drop in the share of mortgages in foreclosure to 1.4 percent is a welcome sign of continued recovery in the housing market, the share remains more than double the 0.6 percent average foreclosure rate that we saw during 2000–2004.”
Nine states saw declines of more than 30 percent in year-over-year foreclosure inventory, with Florida (−46.4 percent) and Maine (−42.2 percent) experiencing the biggest year-over-year declines.