April saw a further improvement in late stage foreclosure activity CoreLogic reported on Thursday.  Both completed foreclosures and the number of properties in the process of foreclosure declined by double digits from levels in April 2013, and both categories were down slightly from March.   The company's chief economist said the foreclosure pipeline could clear in a little more than a year.

Completed foreclosures numbered 46,000 nationally, down by 1,000 or 0.4 percent from March but 10,000 fewer than in April 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 18 percent.  With the exception of the District of Columbia, and New York every state posted double-digit year-over-year declines in foreclosures. CoreLogic said, as a basis of comparison that completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006.  Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5 million completed foreclosures across the country.  

The foreclosure inventory, that is the homes in some stage of foreclosure, contained approximately 694,000 homes in April compared to 1.1 million in April 2013, a year-over-year decrease of 35 percent. The foreclosure inventory as of April represented 1.8 percent of all homes with a mortgage, compared to 2.7 percent in April 2013. The foreclosure inventory was down 4.7 percent from March 2014, representing the 30th month of year-over-year declines. Foreclosure inventories declined more than 30 percent year-over-year in 37 states and Arizona, Utah, Minnesota and California experienced declines greater than 50 percent.

"Over the last 12 months, completed foreclosures fell to 599,000, the lowest level since the Great Recession began in 2007," said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic. "At the current pace of completed foreclosures, and given the current foreclosure inventory, it will take 14 months to move all of the foreclosed inventory through the pipeline."

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in April 2014 were: Florida (121,000), Michigan (46,000), Texas (38,000), California (33,000) and Georgia (32,000).These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were: New Jersey (6.0 percent), Florida (5.4 percent), New York (4.6 percent), Hawaii (3.1 percent) and Maine (3.0 percent).