Foreclosures Tumble Significantly 
 
By Gino Blefari
President & CEO
Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.
 
Even as things have improved vastly in the housing resale market this year – both in terms of sales activity and prices – foreclosures have remained a concern. Generally, the foreclosure situation has improved steadily over the last year, but with so many properties to go through and so many local markets suffering, it’s been slow.
 
This week, we got news of the state of foreclosures as we near the end of the year. And it’s looking good. The number of foreclosures completed in October slipped to 58,000 from 77,000 in September and 70,000 a year ago, according to the latest report from CoreLogic.
 
In addition, CoreLogic reports that fewer properties were in the foreclosure process in October – an indicator of the months to come. About 1.3 million homes were in some stage of foreclosure in October, down 1.3% from September, and accounting for about 3.2% of all mortgages.
 
The total foreclosure inventory has fallen 9% this year.
 
For comparison, CoreLogic reports that in the years before the housing market collapse, 2000-2006, an average 21,000 foreclosures were completed in a month. And in total, there have been about 3.9 million foreclosures since September 2008, when the financial crisis kicked into high gear.
 
Foreclosure activity is spread across the country, but five states accounted for nearly half of all completed foreclosures in the last 12 months: California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Georgia.
 
The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida with 11.1%, New Jersey with 7.7%, New York with 5.3%, Illinois with 5%, and Nevada with 4.8%.
 
It appears 2012 was the big turnaround year for foreclosures. As the resale market continues its pickup next year, we’ll likely see even larger drops in the percentage of foreclosures that make up all mortgaged homes. We see the light!
 
And in related news, a bit of relief for impacted families:
 
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each announced their moratorium dates, halting evictions on foreclosure properties during the holiday season so that families can stay in their homes until after the new year. Fannie Mae’s moratorium applies to single-family and 2- to 4-unit properties and runs from Dec. 19, 2012 through Jan. 2, 2013. Freddie Mac’s eviction moratorium starts Dec. 17 and runs through Jan. 2.
 
‘Tis the season!
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