The nation’s foreclosure inventory in August dropped its lowest level since April 2010, according to new data from analytics firm CoreLogic.

About 1.3 million homes, or 3.2% of all homes with a mortgage, sat in foreclosure inventory, slightly under the 1.4 million, or 3.4%, in August 2011. The inventory rate did not change from July to August.

The number of completed foreclosures declined 24% in the month to 57,000 from 75,000 a year earlier. July saw 58,000 completed foreclosures.

August marks the fourth month in a row showing fewer completed foreclosures.

“The continuing downward trend in foreclosures and a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory are important signals that the recovery in housing is gaining traction,” CoreLogic Chief Executive Anand Nallathambi said.

“The reduction in foreclosure volumes is to some degree being facilitated by the rising popularity of alternative resolution methods, such as short sales and loan modification,” Nallathambi said.

Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, CoreLogic notes, about 3.8 million homes have been lost to foreclosure.

The five states holding the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes, CoreLogice said, are: Florida (11%), New Jersey (6.5%), New York (5.2%), Illinois (4.8%) and Nevada (4.6%).

The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.5%), Alaska (0.8%), North Dakota (0.8%), Nebraska (0.9%) and South Dakota (1.1%).