Foreclosures up slightly in September down but down from last year

Completed foreclosures continued their trend of significant yearly drops but rose for the month in September, according to a new report out Wednesday.

CoreLogic, which tracks property information, said that the number of foreclosures fell by 46,000 last month, down from 68,000 in September 2013, for an annual decrease of 32.6 percent and a drop of 61 percent from the peak in 2010.

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"The level of serious delinquencies has rapidly declined over the last few years, but the pace of improvement is beginning to recede," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic.

On a monthly basis, foreclosures were up by 4.7 percent from the 44,000 reported in August.

Before the decline in the housing market, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 a month between 2000 and 2006.

"The number of completed foreclosures ticked up a bit in September from the prior month and is still running above historic norms," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

"Although the foreclosure inventory and rates of seriously delinquent loans remain elevated in many states, progress is being made, and this bodes well for a better housing market in 2015 and beyond," he said.

Completed foreclosures are an indicator of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure.

Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5.2 million completed foreclosures.

As of September, about 607,000 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared with 924,000 in September 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 34.3 percent.

September's results make 20 straight months of at least 20 percent annual declines in the national inventory.

In September, the foreclosure inventory made up 1.6 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared with 2.3 percent in September 2013.

Through September, 29 states showed declines in year-over-year foreclosure inventory of greater than 30 percent, with Arizona, down 47.6 percent, and Utah, down 47.1 percent, seeing the largest declines.

Highlights as of September report include: 

• All states posted double-digit declines in foreclosures year over year. The District of Columbia saw a 7.1 percent increase.

• The top five highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September were in Florida (120,000), Texas (36,000), California (31,000), Michigan (29,000) and Georgia (27,000). These states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures.

• Four states and the District of Columbia had the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September: South Dakota (63), District of Columbia (68), North Dakota (286), West Virginia (458) and Wyoming (628).