Updated February 27 at 4:27pm

R.I. foreclosure rate decline in March sixth-largest in U.S.

Rhode Island’s foreclosure rate fell to 1.9 percent in March from 3.1 percent a year earlier, the sixth-largest year-over-year decline among the 50 states, according to a report released Tuesday by real estate data firm CoreLogic. More

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R.I. foreclosure rate decline in March sixth-largest in U.S.

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IRVINE, Calif. – Rhode Island’s foreclosure rate fell to 1.9 percent in March from 3.1 percent a year earlier, the sixth-largest year-over-year decline among the 50 states, according to a report released Tuesday by real estate data firm CoreLogic.

The 1.9 percent rate reported for March also represented a decline from February’s 2.1 percent foreclosure rate, defined as the percentage of all residential mortgages in some part of the foreclosure process, but remained one-tenth of a percentage point above the national rate of 1.8 percent.

There were 1,549 completed foreclosures in Rhode Island during the 12 months ended in March, fewer than during the 12-month period through the end of February, when there were 1,488 completed foreclosures. CoreLogic put Rhode Island’s “serious delinquency rate” – the percentage of loans at least 90 days past due – at 6.1 percent for March, slightly lower than the 6.4 percent rate reported a month earlier.

In Massachusetts, foreclosure inventory fell seven-tenths of a percentage point year over year to 1.2 percent in March, compared with 1.9 percent in March 2013. February’s foreclosure rate was 1.3 percent.

Actual completed foreclosures in the 12-month period ended in March totaled 3,000 in the Bay State, more than the 2,902 completed foreclosures reported for the 12 months through Feb. 28. The serious delinquency rate for Massachusetts was 4.5 percent in March, a slight decline from the 4.6 percent rate reported the previous month.

The national foreclosure rate of 1.8 percent fell from 1.9 percent in February and from 2.8 percent in March 2013. Completed foreclosures for the 12-month period through March totaled 607,416, compared with 606,072 in the 12 months through February. The serious delinquency rate dropped slightly to 4.7 percent from 4.9 percent in February.

“The inventory of homes in foreclosure and serious delinquency status are back to 2008 levels, yet remain elevated from a historical perspective,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While getting healthier, the housing market is a long way from being fully recovered. By way of comparison, distressed stock inventories are more than three times higher than the levels of the early 2000s, before the most-recent housing boom and subsequent financial crisis.”

The states with the highest percentage of foreclosure inventory in March included New Jersey at 6 percent, Florida at 5.8 percent, New York at 4.6 percent, Maine at 3.2 percent and Hawaii at 3.1 percent.

CoreLogic, Rhode Island foreclosures, Massachusetts foreclosures, Rhode Island real estate, Rhode Island mortgage delinquency, Mark Fleming,

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