Shadow inventory down
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CoreLogic said today that completed foreclosures ticked up slightly in May compared to April, but the number of homes in process of foreclosure, the foreclosure inventory, was down to about the same degree. Both completed foreclosures and the inventory are lower by double digits than they were one year earlier.

The National Foreclosure Report from CoreLogic said 52,000 homes were foreclosed in May compared to 71,000 in May 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 27 percent. However in May there were 2000 more foreclosures completed than in April, an increase of 3.5 percent. By way of comparison completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month in the 2000-2006 period, prior to the financial and housing crisis. Since September 2008 there have been approximately 4.4 million completed foreclosures nationwide.

As of May there were about 1.0 million homes in some stage of foreclosure, down from 1.4 million a year earlier, a 29 percent decrease. The May inventory represented 2.6 percent of all mortgaged homes in the U.S. While the May 2012 inventory represented a 3.5 percent rate.

CoreLogic tracks a third measure, the shadow inventory, also known as pending supply, by calculating the number of properties that are seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or held as real estate owned (REO) by mortgage servicers, but not currently listed on multiple listing services (MLSs). The April shadow inventory was under 2 million homes, representing a supply of 5.3 months. At its peak in 2010 the shadow inventory contained 3 million homes.

Of the less than 2 million shadow inventory properties 890,000 are seriously delinquent (2.4 months’ supply), 761,000 are in some stage of foreclosure (2 months’ supply) and 336,000 are already in REO (0.9 months’ supply). In May the shadow inventory represented 85 percent of the 2.3 million properties currently seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or REO.

The value of shadow inventory was $314 billion as of April 2013, down from $386 billion in April 2012 and down from $320 billion six months prior, in October 2012. April’s number was down 18 percent compared to April 2012 when it was at 2.4 million units.

Total delinquencies at the end of May including those 90 or more days past due, in foreclosure or owned real estate (REO) was fewer than 2.3 million mortgages or 5.6 percent of all mortgaged properties. This is the lowest delinquency rate since December 2008.

Noting the nearly five year low in the delinquency rate, Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic said, “Over the last year it has decreased in 42 states by double-digit figures, resulting in rapid declines in shadow inventory for the first quarter of 2013.”

“We continue to see a sharp drop in foreclosures around the country and with it a decrease in the size of the shadow inventory. Affordability, despite the rise in home prices over the past year, and consumer confidence are big contributors to these positive trends,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “We are particularly encouraged by the broad-based nature of the housing market recovery so far in 2013.”

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in May 2013 were: Florida (103,000),California (76,000), Michigan (64,000), Texas (51,000) and Georgia (47,000).These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (8.8 percent), New Jersey (6.0 percent), New York (4.8 percent), Maine (4.1 percent) and Connecticut (4.1 percent).