The nation’s supply of homes in some stage of foreclosure plummeted 23% in March, declining from 1.5 million housing units a year earlier to 1.1 million distressed properties, CoreLogic said in a new report Tuesday.
Completed foreclosures also declined 16% to 55,000 units from 66,000 a year earlier. Despite foreclosure filings dropping year-over-year, the number of completed foreclosure actions actually rose 6% from February to March, rising from 52,000 a month earlier.
Still, the overall trend is for foreclosures to decline each year.
"In March, completed foreclosures were down 52% from the peak in 2010, and almost all of the top 100 major metropolitan areas have declining foreclosure rates," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic (CLGX).
"The foreclosure rate nationally is down 23% relative to a year ago, signaling continued reduction in the stock of distressed assets."
While foreclosures are falling, the number still remains high when compared to real estate cycles established before the 2007 market downturn.
From the years 2000 through 2006, the nation averaged roughly 21,000 foreclosures per month.
Since the onset of the crisis, CoreLogic estimates 4.2 million homes have been lost to foreclosure.
The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures in March included Florida with 103,000 foreclosures, followed by California (83,000), Michigan (70,000), Texas (53,000) and Georgia (48,000).
The states with the highest foreclosure inventory rate based on the percentage of all mortgaged homes includes Florida, which boasts a 9.7% foreclosure inventory rate.
New Jersey comes in second with a 7.3% foreclosure inventory rate, while New York, Maine and Illinois maintain foreclosure inventory rates between 4.4% and 5%.