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Minnesota foreclosures drop to lowest rate since 2006

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Foreclosures of homes in Minnesota declined again in the third quarter, showing a steep 33 percent drop compared to figures from the same period last year.

The Pioneer Press reports that's the first three-month period to show fewer than 3,000 foreclosures on the books since 2006. The Star Tribune says fewer homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages is a sign of the improving economy.

The newspaper cites figures from HousingLink, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit housing information organization, which clocked 2,972 Minnesota foreclosures in the three months ending in September. The trend is especially pronounced in the Twin Cities metro area, with foreclosures falling by 34.2 percent.

Recent delinquency data suggest the number of sheriff sales will continue to fall. Analysis from consumer research firm CoreLogic said the serious delinquency rate declined to 5.4 percent of all Minnesota mortgages in July 2013.

The housing problems are not over, though. The Star Tribune story says that " alarming number of homeowners are still struggling," with foreclosure sales happening at nearly twice the pace they were before the housing crash.

A report earlier this month found construction projects in the city of Minneapolis topped $1 billion for the second straight year. The milestone report found 10,371 building permits issued in Minneapolis in October.

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