Though homes are still are being repossessed by banks across the country, it appears that by and large the nation’s foreclosure crisis is winding down. During the height of the crisis millions of Americans lost their homes as a result of deflating home values, increasing mortgage payments, and job loss. But now, as the nation’s economy shows sustained signs of improvement, not only has the rate of foreclosure repossession reduced significantly, but the percentage of homes in some stage of foreclosure is similarly declining.
According to CoreLogic, a real estate tracking firm based in California, the month of February 2014 saw 43,000 completed foreclosures, which was 9,000 fewer than were completed in February 2013. This decrease, which represented a 15% drop year-over-year, continues a recent trend of declining foreclosures repossessions. Additionally, foreclosure inventories, which include all homes in some stage of foreclosure, dropped from 1.2 million in February 2013 to 752,000 in February 2014.
Since the beginning of the foreclosure crisis approximately 4.9 million properties have been repossessed through the foreclosure process across the country. The most recent figures indicate that the national foreclosure rate, and inventory of foreclosed homes, is back to levels not seen sense the last quarter of 2008 – the year the financial crisis exploded on the world scene. Despite the good news, much work still remains to be done, as a number of states continue to see above average foreclosure rates.
The states with the highest rates of foreclosure inventory, a metric which tracks foreclosures as a percentage of all mortgaged properties, are New Jersey, Florida, New York, Maine, and Connecticut. Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado have the lowest rates of foreclosure inventory in the country.
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