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The rise and fall of home foreclosures

The housing market continues its nearly decade-long comeback. As 2016 ended, significant reductions occurred in not only home foreclosures, but also serious mortgage delinquencies (90 days or more past due, including loans in foreclosure or REO).

According to CoreLogic, completed foreclosures fell from 36,000 in December 2015 to 21,000 in December of this past year, a 40 percent reduction. It also represents an 82 percent drop from the peak of 118,336 in September of 2010.

December 2015 already saw the lowest level since 2007 of mortgages in serious delinquencies. The reduction of 19.4 percent put the number at one million or 2.6 percent.

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in 2016 account for 36 percent of the entire nation. They include:

  • Florida – 45,000
  • Michigan – 30,000
  • Texas – 24,000
  • Ohio – 21,000
  • California – 19,000

The lowest number of foreclosures completed in 2016 occurred in:

  • North Dakota – 182
  • District of Columbia – 254
  • West Virginia – 312
  • Montana – 630
  • Alaska – 668

The national foreclosure inventory, specifically the number of homes in the process of foreclosure plus those completely foreclosed upon, was down 30 percent in the last month of 2016. As of December of that year, the inventory stood at approximately 329,000 or 0.8 percent of all homes with a mortgage.

The highest foreclosure inventory rate for December 2016 includes:

  • New Jersey – 2.8 percent
  • New York – 2.7 percent
  • Maine – 1.8 percent
  • Hawaii – 1.7 percent
  • District of Columbia – 1.6 percent

Five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory rates for the last month of 2016 includes:

  • Colorado – 0.2 percent
  • Minnesota, Utah, Arizona and California – 0.3 percent

Since the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, approximately 6.5 million foreclosures were completed nationwide. Prior to the housing market decline which actually started in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 22,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.

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William T. Peckham
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