The U.S. foreclosure inventory took a 25.7 percent dive as completed foreclosures fell by 15.5 percent in March of this year, compared to a year ago, according to new data from CoreLogic.
The current foreclosure rate of 1.4 percent marks the lowest inventory level since March 2008, CoreLogic says.
“Foreclosures and serious delinquency rates continue to drop as the home purchase market begins to emerge from its eight-year slump,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Based on the current trends in completed foreclosure rates, we expect the foreclosure inventory to drop below 1.3 percent by midyear, a level not seen since the end of 2007.”
There were 41,000 completed foreclosures nationwide in March 2015. That’s down from 48,000 in March 2014, and a significant decrease of 65.2 percent from the peak of completed foreclosures in September 2010, according to CoreLogic.
Completed foreclosures reflects the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure.
“We are seeing additional improvement in housing market conditions due to a decline in the serious delinquency rate to 3.9 percent, far below the peak of 8.6 percent in early 2010,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Despite the decline in the number of loans that are 90 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure, the percent of homeowners struggling to keep up is still well above the pre-recession average of 1.5%.”
Since the financial crisis and housing market collapse that began in late 2008, there have been about 5.6 million completed foreclosures nationwide. A broader perspective: there have been about 7.7 million homes lost to foreclosure since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004.
CoreLogic 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 19.1 percent from March 2014 to March 2015 with 1.5 million mortgages, or 3.9 percent, in serious delinquency. This is the lowest delinquency rate since May 2008.