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Completed foreclosures decline in Sept.

IRVINE -- For the month of September 2014, there were 46,000 completed foreclosures nationally, down from 68,000 in September 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 32.6 percent and down 61 percent from the peak of completed foreclosures in 2010, according to the September National Foreclosure Report of CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX).

On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures were up by 4.7 percent from the 44,000 reported in August 2014, according to the Irvine-based property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider.

As a basis of comparison, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.

Completed foreclosures are an indication 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 across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in Q2 of 2004, there have been approximately 7 million homes lost to foreclosure.

As of September 2014, approximately 607,000 homes nationally were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 924,000 in September 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 34.3 percent.

The foreclosure inventory as of September 2014 made up 1.6 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.3 percent in September 2013.

The foreclosure inventory was down 2.8 percent from August 2014, representing 35 consecutive months of year-over-year declines.

"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.

"As of June, serious delinquencies were 26 percent lower than the prior year, but as of September serious delinquencies were 21 percent lower," he said.

"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.

Highlights as of September 2014:

* September represents 20 consecutive months of at least 20 percent year-over-year declines in the national inventory of foreclosed homes.

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

* Twenty-nine states showed declines in year-over-year foreclosure inventory of greater than 30 percent, with Arizona ( minus 47.6) and Utah (down 47.1) experiencing the largest declines.

* The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures (judicial and non-judicial) for the 12 months ending in September 2014 were: Florida (120,000), Texas (36,000), California (31,000), Michigan (29,000) and Georgia (27,000). These five states accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

* Four states and the District of Columbia experienced the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2014: South Dakota (63), District of Columbia (68), North Dakota (286), West Virginia (458) and Wyoming (628).

* The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: New Jersey (5.7), Florida (4.4), New York (4.1), Hawaii (2.9) and Maine (2.7).

The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Nebraska and Alaska (0.4), Arizona (0.5), North Dakota (0.5) and Wyoming (0.5).

Of the top 25 urban areas with completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending September 2014, six were in California:

Riverside/San Bernardino/Ontario (7th with 6,457), Los Angeles/Long Beach/Glendale (12th with 4,983), Sacramento/Roseville/Arden-Arcade (20th with 2,754), San Diego/Carlsbad (21st with 1,676), Oakland/Hawyard/Berkeley (22nd with 1,658), and Anaheim/Santa Ana/Irvine (25th with 1,149).

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