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Foreclosures continue on downward trend

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A just-released report by CoreLogic, an information and analytics provider, indicates that U.S. foreclosure inventory is at its lowest level since April 2010. But five states still account for almost 50% of all completed foreclosures nationally.

According to the report, there were 57,000 completed foreclosures in the United States in August 2012, down from 75,000 in August 2011 and 58,000 in July 2012. Approximately 1.3 million homes, or 3.2% of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of August 2012, compared with 1.4 million, or 3.4%, in August 2011.

"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," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "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 modifications."

Month-over-month, the national foreclosure inventory was unchanged from July 2012 to August 2012. The foreclosure inventory is the share of all mortgaged homes in any stage of the foreclosure process.

"August marks the fourth month in a row there were fewer completed foreclosures, which is more evidence that the housing industry is finding its footing," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. "While we are seeing improvement on a national level, there remain higher concentrations of foreclosures in some areas, with five states accounting for nearly half of all completed foreclosures nationwide during the last year."

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in August 2012 were: California (110,000), Florida (92,000), Michigan (62,000), Texas (58,000) and Georgia (55,000). These five states account for 48.1% of all completed foreclosures nationally.

The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in August 2012 were: South Dakota (25), District of Columbia (113), Hawaii (435), North Dakota (564) and Maine (612).

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