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CoreLogic reports that the rate of completed foreclosures in the U.S. continues to drop, with fewer homes entering into the process in September 2012 than in the same month of the previous year. An improving economy may be helping, but experts point toward government programs and banks making it possible for more people to refinance loans, make a short sale or get loan modifications. The states with the most foreclosures include California, Florida and Texas, while those with the fewest are Maine, North Dakota and Hawaii. For more on this continue reading the following article from Property Wire.

There has been a small drop in the number of homes in the US going into foreclosure with the latest figures from data provider CoreLogic showing they accounted for 3.3% of the national market in September, down from 3.5% a year ago.

According to the report, there were 57,000 completed foreclosures in the US in September 2012, down from 83,000 in September 2011 and 59,000 in August 2012.

Prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.9 million completed foreclosures across the country.
 
Approximately 1.4 million homes, or 3.3% of all homes with a mortgage, were in the national foreclosure inventory as of September 2012 compared to 1.5 million, or 3.5%, in September 2011. Month on month, the national foreclosure inventory was down 1.1% from August 2012 to September 2012.
 
The continuing downward trend in foreclosures along with a gradual clearing of the shadow inventory are signs of stabilisation and improvement in the housing market,? said Anand Nallathambi, president and chief executive officer of CoreLogic.
 
Increasingly improving market conditions and industry and government policy are allowing distressed homeowners to pursue refinancing, loan modifications or short sales rather than foreclosures,? he explained.

The latest figures mean that homes lost to foreclosure in September 2012 are down 50% since the peak month in September 2010 and 22% less than the beginning of the year.

While there is significant progress to be made before returning to pre-crisis levels, the trend is in the right direction as short sales, up 27% year on year in August, continue to gain popularity,? said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2012 were California with 108,000, Florida with 92,000, Texas with 59,000, Georgia with 55,000 and Michigan with 51,000. These five states account for 47.7% of all completed foreclosures nationally.

The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in September 2012 were South Dakota with 20, District of Columbia with 58, Hawaii with 436, North Dakota with 583 and Maine with 625.

The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Florida with 11.5%, New Jersey with 7.3%, New York with 5.3%, Illinois with 5.2% and Nevada with 4.9%.

The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Wyoming with 0.5%, Alaska and North Dakota both with 0.7, Nebraska with 0.9% and South Dakota with 1.1%.

This article was republished with permission from Property Wire.