Although completed foreclosures increased 1.3% in August, compared to July, the national foreclosure rate was down 34% compared to August 2012, according to CoreLogic's National Foreclosure Report.
There were 48,000 completed foreclosures in August, compared to 47,000 in July and 72,000 in August 2012.
Overall, foreclosures have been declining steadily since reaching a peak of about 3 million in 2010. However, there is still a long ways to go before the market returns to ‘pre-crisis’ levels: Completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.
The so-called ‘shadow inventory’ was 1.9 million homes as of July – down 22% from a year ago, when it was 2.4 million. This was the lowest level since August 2008.
The shadow inventory, as of August, had a value of about $293 billion and represented a 3.7-month supply. Of these, 874,000 were 90 days or more past-due, or ‘seriously delinquent’ (representing 1.8 months' supply), 661,000 were in some stage of foreclosure (1.3 months' supply) and 318,000 were already bank-owned (0.6 months' supply).
In total, the shadow inventory represented about 85% of the 2.2 million properties that were seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or bank-owned.
As of July, the value of the shadow inventory was $293 billion – down from $380 billion in July 2012.
As of August, approximately 939,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the ‘foreclosure inventory,’ compared to 1.4 million in August 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 33%. Month-over-month, foreclosure inventory was down 3.2%.
The foreclosure inventory as of August represented 2.4% of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 3.3% in August 2012.
Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.5 million completed foreclosures across the country, according to CoreLogic.
"The foreclosure inventory continues to improve, as exhibited by these recent numbers," says Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "A surge in completed foreclosures and a rise in the foreclosure inventory is unlikely, given continued house price improvements and shortages of supply in many markets."
‘Over the past year, the value of the U.S. shadow inventory dropped by $87 billion – a sign of increased normalcy in the housing market," adds Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "With a year-over-year decrease of 22 percent in July, the shadow inventory has now declined steadily for 10 consecutive months."
States with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in August included Florida (111,000), Michigan (60,000), California (58,000), Texas (43,000) and Georgia (40,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
States with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in August included District of Columbia (94), North Dakota (463), Hawaii (492), West Virginia (501) and Wyoming (723).
States with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes included Florida (7.9%), New Jersey (6.2%), New York (4.9%), Maine (4%) and Connecticut (3.9%).
States with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes included Wyoming (0.4%), Alaska (0.6%), North Dakota (0.7%), Nebraska (0.7%) and Colorado (0.7%).