CoreLogic has released its March National Foreclosure Report which found that there were 55,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in March 2013, down from 66,000 in March 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 16 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures rose from 52,000 in February 2013 to the March level of 55,000, an increase of six percent. As a basis of comparison, prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide 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 4.2 million completed foreclosures across the country. “In March, completed foreclosures were down 52 percent from the peak in 2010, and almost all of the top 100 major metropolitan areas have declining foreclosure rates,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The foreclosure rate nationally is down 23 percent relative to a year ago, signaling continued reduction in the stock of distressed assets.” Approximately 1.1 million homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, as of March 2013 compared to 1.5 million in March 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 23 percent. Month over month, the foreclosure inventory was down 1.9 percent from February 2013 to March 2013. The foreclosure inventory as of March 2013 represented 2.8 percent of all homes with a mortgage compared to 3.5 percent in February 2013. “For 17 consecutive months, foreclosures have declined year over year across the U.S,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Although we still have more than a million homes in some stage of foreclosure, this trend, combined with rising home prices, is another signal of a gradually improving housing market.” Highlights of CoreLogic's March National Foreclosure Report: ►The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2013 were: Florida (103,000), California (83,000), Michigan (70,000), Texas (53,000) and Georgia (48,000). These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally. ►The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in March 2013 were: South Dakota (81), District of Columbia (101), Hawaii (421), North Dakota (487) and West Virginia (554). ►The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Florida (9.7 percent), New Jersey (7.3 percent), New York (5.0 percent), Maine (4.4 percent) and Illinois (4.4 percent). ►The five states with the lowest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: Wyoming (0.5 percent), Alaska (0.7 percent), North Dakota (0.7 percent), Nebraska (0.9 percent) and Montana (0.9 percent).