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Although the national foreclosure rate increased 3.5% in May, compared to April, the number of homes in foreclosure was down 27% by comparison to May 2012, according to CoreLogic's May National Foreclosure Report.

There were 52,000 completed foreclosures in May, down from 71,000 a year ago, according to the report. There were about 50,000 completed foreclosures in April.

Total shadow inventory is down 34% from its peak in 2010, when it reached 3 million homes, according to CoreLogic. It is down 18% compared to May 2012, when there were 2.4 million homes in shadow inventory.

CoreLogic notes that since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.4 million completed foreclosures across the country.

However, things are improving, as the rate of seriously delinquent mortgages is at its lowest level since December 2008.

Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, noted that over the last year, shadow inventory has decreased by double-digit figures in 42 states, resulting in rapid declines in the first quarter.

"We continue to see a sharp drop in foreclosures around the country and with it a decrease in the size of the shadow inventory," added Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. "Affordability, despite the rise in home prices over the past year, and consumer confidence are big contributors to these positive trends."

States with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in May were Florida (103,000), California (76,000), Michigan (64,000), Texas (51,000) and Georgia (47,000). These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

The five states with the lowest number of completed foreclosures included the District of Columbia (108), Hawaii (453), North Dakota (467), West Virginia (517) and Maine (644).

As of April, shadow inventory was under 2 million properties, or 5.3 months’ supply, the report states. This represented 85% of the 2.3 million properties currently seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or REO.

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