National foreclosure inventory fell 31 percent year-over-year in December, with 2.1 percent of all homes with a mortgage in some stage of foreclosure, according to CoreLogic's December National Foreclosure Report.
Completed foreclosures also declined year-over-year in December, though at a somewhat lower rate of 14 percent, according to CoreLogic.
Despite declines, foreclosures remain elevated compared to historical norms. From 2000 through 2006, about 21,000 foreclosures were completed each month.
In December 45,000 foreclosures were completed, down from 47,000 in November and 52,000 in December 2012.
"Clearly, 2013 was a transitional year for residential property in the United States," said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.
"Higher home prices and lower shadow inventory levels, together with a slowly improving economy, are hopeful signals that we are turning a long-awaited corner," Nallathambi said.
However, he anticipates "progress to remain very slow" this year.
Five states accounted for nearly half of all completed foreclosures in 2013. Those states included Florida with 119,000 foreclosures, Michigan with 53,000 foreclosures, California with 39,000 foreclosures, Texas with 39,000 foreclosures, and Georgia with 35,000 foreclosures completed over the year.
At the other end of the spectrum, the five states with the fewest foreclosures completed in 2013 were the District of Columbia with 63 foreclosures, North Dakota with 417 foreclosures, Hawaii with 493 foreclosures, West Virginia with 505 foreclosures, and Wyoming with 759 foreclosures.
The states ranking highest for the percentage of foreclosure inventory as of year-end is not consistent with the list of states with the highest numbers of completed foreclosures over the year, except that Florida ranked highest in both categories.
In Florida, 6.7 percent of all homes with a mortgage are in some stage of foreclosure.
Florida is followed by New Jersey (6.5 percent), New York (4.9 percent), Connecticut (3.6 percent), and Maine (3.6 percent).
States with the smallest foreclosure inventory rates in December were Wyoming (0.4 percent), Alaska (0.5 percent), North Dakota (0.6 percent), Colorado (0.6 percent), and Nebraska (0.6 percent).
In total, 4.8 million foreclosures have been completed since the start of the housing crisis in September 2008, according to CoreLogic.