According to the Sacramento Bee, foreclosure rates in the four-county Sacramento region plummeted in July when compared to the same month a year earlier.

Among outstanding mortgages, the rate of foreclosures fell from 2.43% in July 2012 to 0.98% in July of this year, the Irvine-based real estate information service said.

Foreclosure rates in the region have been falling for months as home values rise and the economy gradually improves.

July’s foreclosure rate was lower than the national average of 2.43%.