Mortgage Foreclosures Down 29% in November

Homeowners (and investors in the banks holding their mortgages) received a triple dose of good news Thursday, when residential property data provider CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX  ) announced that:

  • The number of completed foreclosures in America dropped 29% year over year in November, as compared to November 2012.
  • Completed foreclosures trended down sequentially from October, falling 8.3%.
  • The inventory of houses in some stage of the foreclosure process, the so-called "foreclosure inventory," dropped 34% from a year ago. Month-over-month, the foreclosure inventory dropped 4.6% from October 2013 to November 2013.

Additionally, CoreLogic estimates that the residential "shadow inventory" of homes that are "seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or held as REO [real estate owned] by mortgage servicers, but not currently listed on multiple listing services," has fallen to levels not seen since the start of the housing crisis in 2008. CoreLogic puts the size of this shadow inventory at 1.7 million homes, down 26.4% from one year ago.

As for actual foreclosures, according to CoreLogic's data, 46,000 homes were foreclosed upon in November, versus 64,000 completed foreclosures in November 2012.

Expect foreclosures to get even rarer in the months to come. Only about 812,000 homes in the U.S. remain in the foreclosure process today (down from 1.2 million homes one year ago), according to CoreLogic. Thus, the trend toward fewer and fewer completed foreclosures appears intact.

As of November, only 2.1% of all homes under mortgage were in the process of being foreclosed upon, says CoreLogic, compared to 3% in November 2012.

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