Data from market research firm CoreLogic revealed last Thursday that completed foreclosures in the United States dropped by 39 percent in September 2013 compared to the previous year. This was the biggest annual decline in foreclosure completions on record since 2007, or before the housing bubble and the accompanying economic recession.
According to CoreLogic, there were only 51,000 completed foreclosures in September 2013, a decrease from the 84,000 completed in September 2012. A foreclosure is considered completed when the financial institution claims ownership of the home, or if it is auctioned off. Month-over-month, however, there was no change reported, as 51,000 foreclosures were completed in August 2013.
Prior to the housing bubble, foreclosure completions averaged about 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. There have been approximately 4.6 million foreclosures completed since the global economic crisis had officially started in September 2008.
“The number of seriously delinquent mortgages continues to drop across the country at a rapid rate with every state showing year-over-year declines in foreclosure inventory,” opined CoreLogic Chief Executive and President Anand Nallathambi in a statement. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but these are encouraging signs for a return to a healthier housing market.”
The U.S. housing market’s recovery started in early 2012 amid decreases in mortgage rates and increases in home prices, as well as foreclosures decreasing in parallel. However, an increase in mortgage interest rates experienced this summer had threatened to throw a wedge at the recovery.
Rates have since dipped from September 2013 highs, falling about 50 basis points on most surveys due to the Federal Reserve’s decision not to taper its bond-buying stimulus.