April saw 52,000 foreclosures completed in the U.S., down 16% from last year's April tally of 62,000. Sequentially, foreclosure rates were flat against March's 52,000 number, but the numbers appear destined to keep dropping. According to CoreLogic data, 1.1 million homes are now in various stages of the foreclosure process, versus 1.5 million in April of last year. This represents a 24% shrinkage in the pool of "foreclosure inventory" -- and as the pool is drained, fewer and fewer foreclosures should leak out into the monthly figures.
Putting the figures into context, CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming was quoted as saying: "The shadow of foreclosure and distress continues to fade, with the annualized sum of completed foreclosures having declined for 17 straight months."
Foreclosure rates still remain high in comparison to pre-housing bubble figures, however. From 2000 to 2006, rising home values kept foreclosure rates down to a monthly average of just 21,000 nationally. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.4 million completed foreclosures across the country, according to CoreLogic.