Foreclosure activity continued a sharp decline in May while the number of at-risk homes also fell.
Lenders foreclosed on 52,000 U.S. homes during the month, the real estate data firmCoreLogic Inc. reported. That's an increase from 50,000 in April, but down 27 percent from 71,000 foreclosures in the same month a year earlier.
The "shadow inventory" of homes foreclosed, in foreclosure or in danger of foreclosure, once a major concern that threatened to prolong the housing market's decline, has declined to 2 million properties. That's down 34 percent from its 2010 peak.
"The stock of seriously delinquent homes, which is the main driver of shadow inventory, is at the lowest level since December 2008," said CoreLogic chief economist Mark Fleming. "Over the last year it has decreased in 42 states by double-digit figures, resulting in rapid declines in shadow inventory for the first quarter of 2013."
In Oregon, lenders foreclosed on 4,500 homes in the 12 months ending in May. About 2.8 percent of all Oregon homes with a mortgage are in a stage of the foreclosure process, down 0.4 percentage points from a year earlier.