Mortgages

Foreclosure Inventories Continue to Decline

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Though analysts have maintained foreclosure activity will pick up in the coming months, the number of completed foreclosures nationwide dropped annually and monthly in October – a sign the housing market may see a further boost in its recovery.

According to a report by CoreLogic, 58,000 foreclosures were completed in the first month of the fourth quarter. This marks a considerable decline in foreclosure activity from a year earlier, when 70,000 distressed properties hit the market. Additionally, the October total is 19,000 fewer than the number of completed foreclosures in September.

“A lower foreclosure inventory is a good indicator of improving housing markets,” said CoreLogic president and CEO Anand Nallathambi. “The downward trend in foreclosure inventories over the past year is yet another signal that a recovery in housing is gaining traction.”

Mark Fleming, chief economist for the data analytics firm, added that the 2013 outlook for the national housing sector looks promising given the foreclosure decrease in October. The cause of the drop, he noted, is likely in part due to mortgage modifications.

As it seems to occur each month, the states that saw the highest amount of completed foreclosures during the month were ones that have seen their fair share of issues in their housing markets in recent years.

California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Georgia experienced the greatest number of foreclosures in October. In the year ending in October, the Golden State led the way in terms of foreclosure activity, as 108,000 were completed during the span.

Conversely, healthier real estate segments of the country saw diminished activity. States to see low foreclosure totals include North and South Dakota, Hawaii and Maine. Only 19 foreclosures have gone through in South Dakota since October 2011, the report found.

Low mortgage rates have helped a number of borrowers nationwide reduce the terms of their home loans this year. Government data shows nearly 1 million mortgage modifications will take place in 2012, many through government-sponsored initiatives such as the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

Image: Editor B, via Flickr

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