The number of home foreclosures completed in the U.S. in March fell 16 percent from a year ago, according to data released today by CoreLogic.
A total of 55,000 home went through the foreclosure process, up from 52,000 in February, but 52 percent below the foreclosure peak in 2010.
Approximately 1.1 million homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure as of March 2013 -- the foreclosure inventory -- compared to 1.5 million in March 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 23 percent, CoreLogic reports. The foreclosure inventory dropped 1.9 percent from February to March.
"Almost all of the top 100 major metropolitan areas have declining foreclosure rates," said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.
"For 17 consecutive months, foreclosures have declined year over year across the U.S," said Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive of CoreLogic. "Although we still have more than a million homes in some stage of foreclosure, this trend, combined with rising home prices, is another signal of a gradually improving housing market."
Highlights of the March report:
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2013 were: Florida (103,000), California (83,000), Michigan (70,000), Texas (53,000) and Georgia (48,000). These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.
The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2013 were: South Dakota (81), District of Columbia (101), Hawaii (421), North Dakota (487) and West Virginia (554).
The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (9.7 percent), New Jersey (7.3 percent), New York (5.0 percent), Maine (4.4 percent) and Illinois (4.4 percent).
The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.5 percent), Alaska (0.7 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.9 percent) and Montana (0.9 percent).
Judicial Foreclosure States Foreclosure Ranking (Ranked by Completed Foreclosures):