by: Kristena Hansen
August 28, 2012
Fewer homeowners throughout the nation are losing their homes to foreclosure compared with a year ago, and while the Phoenix market also reflects this trend, Arizona is still struggling with distressed properties.
The latest housing data released Tuesday by CoreLogic shows that Arizona had the sixth-highest number of homes (45,278) that were lost to foreclosure between July 2011 and July 2012. The highest number was California’s whopping 118,424 foreclosed homes, followed by Florida’s 90,046 and Michigan’s 61,285, the report said.
More than 72 percent of Arizona’s statewide total of completed foreclosures occurred in the metro Phoenix area, the report said.
That translates to 32,722 Valley homes lost to foreclosure during the same period — which was the second-highest number of the 25 major metropolitan areas the report examines.
The only market to trump Phoenix was Atlanta, which recorded 36,346 total homes lost to foreclosure between July 2011 and July 2012, according to CoreLogic.
Nationwide, almost 795,000 homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure during the same period, and the landscape is slowly improving this year. For example, about 58,000 foreclosures were completed throughout the nation in July, down from 69,000 in July 2011.
“Completed foreclosures were down again in July, this time by 16 percent versus a year ago, as servicers increasingly rely on alternatives to the foreclosure process, such as short sales and modifications,” Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in the report. “Completed foreclosures remain concentrated in five states, California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and Georgia, accounting for 48 percent of all completed foreclosures nationwide in July.”
Despite the local market’s high rankings, foreclosure activity in Phoenix and Arizona has made significant improvements in recent months. The Valley’s foreclosure rate — which is different from completed foreclosures because it measures only the number of homes undergoing some stage of the foreclosure process versus an area’s total number of mortgaged homes — has consistently fallen each month since peak figures in December 2010.
In July, the Phoenix-area foreclosure rate was 2.2 percent — tumbling by 38 percent from last year’s foreclosure rate.