A foreclosed home in Miami, shown in 2010. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )
The number of homes mired in the foreclosure process fell again last month, according to a new report, the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year declines.
Irvine-based CoreLogic said Thursday that roughly 1.2 million homes nationwide, or 2.9% of all homes with a mortgage, were in some stage of foreclosure in January. That's a 3.3% drop from December and a 21% decline from January 2012.
Although the foreclosure inventory shrank, the number of completed foreclosures rose 10.5% from revised December figures. Still, the 61,000 foreclosures completed in January were down 17.8% from a year earlier.
“The backlog of distressed assets continues to fade as the foreclosure inventory has fallen to a level not seen since mid-2009, with less than 3% of all mortgages in foreclosure,” Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in a statement.
The improvement was widespread, Fleming said. Only six states and 13 of the largest 100 metro areas had foreclosure rate increases compared to a year ago.
California saw its foreclosure inventory drop 1.2% from January 2012.
Before the housing crash, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006, CoreLogic said. CEO Anand Nallathambi said the firm forecasts foreclosures to decline as the year progresses amid a stabilizing housing market and increased purchase activity.
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