Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Completed foreclosures drop 16 percent


Significantly fewer properties were entered into the national foreclosure inventory in March, according to newly released data.

Property information and analytics firm CoreLogic reports that in March, there were roughly 55,000 completed foreclosures. On a year-over-year basis, that's down 16 percent from 2012, when there were 66,000.

At the same time, though, the foreclosure inventory is still in a territory suggesting the housing market hasn't yet reached bull status. For example, the report noted that in 2007, before the housing crisis began, an average of 21,000 foreclosures were completed each month, far below where averages have been since the housing meltdown, which began a year or so later.

Nevertheless, it's an encouraging sign that the housing market is getting back into balanced territory, as indicated by Mark Fleming, CoreLogic chief economist.

"In March, completed foreclosures were down 52 percent from the peak in 2010, and almost all of the top 100 major metropolitan areas have declining foreclosure rates," said Fleming. "The foreclosure rate nationally is down 23 percent relative to a year ago, signaling continued reduction in the stock of distressed assets."

Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of the California-based real estate services provider, added that foreclosures have fallen on a year-over-year basis for 17 straight months now, which is perhaps the best sign that the housing sector is convalescing nicely.

He cautioned, however, that there still remains more than a million homes in some stage of foreclosure, many of which may be purchased at a relatively inexpensive price by aspiring homeowners.

Have home inspected before buying foreclosed property
While there are a variety of factors home buyers ought to take into consideration before purchasing a foreclosed property - such as who formerly owned it, its physical condition and how much value it's lost - one of the most important things to have done is a home inspection.

Real estate experts point out that when someone buys a home that was at one time distressed, they're purchasing it just as the former owners left it. Thus, those who are thinking about buying it will want to know what's wrong with the house before they buy it. Pre purchase home inspections can help buyers discover the answer to this question, such as if any floor in the house was once - or is currently - infested with termites or rodents. Either of these creatures can affect the construct of a home and needs to be addressed.