The inventory of properties in some stage of foreclosure fell 29% year-over-year in May as improving housing conditions kept more troubled borrowers from falling into distress, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

In its May National Foreclosure Report, the data analytics firm said one million homes remain in some stage of foreclosure, down from 1.4 million in May 2012 and a 3.3% drop from April.

Overall, the foreclosure inventory represented 2.6% of all homes with a mortgage in May, compared to 3.5% a year earlier.   

The shadow inventory of distressed properties also plummeted 34% from its peak level of 3 million homes back in 2010.

Completed foreclosures also descended in May, dropping to 52,000, down from 71,000 a year earlier. Still, foreclosure activity picked up from April to May, rising from 50,000 to 52,000 finalized foreclosures.

“We continue to see a sharp drop in foreclosures around the country and with it a decrease in the size of the shadow inventory. Affordability, despite the rise in home prices over the past year, and consumer confidence are big contributors to these positive trends,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic (CLGX). “We are particularly encouraged by the broad-based nature of the housing market recovery so far in 2013.”

By the end of May 2013, fewer than 2.3 million mortgages – or 5.6% of home loans – remained seriously delinquent, the lowest level recorded since December of 2008.

The highest foreclosure inventory rates are linked to the states of Florida (8.8%); New Jersey (6%); New York (4.8%); Maine (4.1%); and Connecticut (4.1%).


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