Atlanta leads nation in foreclosures

Americans have continued to lose their homes to foreclosure, but at a slower pace than in the past few years, according to a report this morning from CoreLogic.

And while the overall picture has improved, Georgia remains among the nation’s foreclosure leaders and metro Atlanta was number one among metro areas.

Metro Atlanta recorded 18,994 completed foreclosures in the past year — the most in the nation. Just behind Atlanta was Tampa with 18,137.

Among states, Georgia was among the five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in May, with 32,000 foreclosures, according to the CoreLogic report. Topping the list was Florida with 122,000, Michigan with 44,000, Texas at 39,000 and California, which had 34,000.

Georgia and the other four states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures in the country, CoreLogic said.

In May, the latest month available, there were 47,000 completed foreclosures in the United States, down from 52,000 during the same month a year ago, the company reported.

Before the burst of the housing bubble and the ensuing financial crisis, the nation averaged 21,000 completed foreclosures per month, CoreLogic said.

Since September 2008, roughly 5 million homes have been lost to foreclosure.

As of May, about 660,000 homes in the United States were in some stage of foreclosure, down from 1 million in May 2013. That more recent number represented 1.7 percent of all American homes with a mortgage, down from 2.6 percent in May 2013.

“Significant gains have been made in the last year to reduce the foreclosure stock,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic in a statement this morning.