Minnesota makes list of states with lowest number of foreclosures

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As the nation's the housing picture continues to show signs of progress, Minnesota made the list of the top 12 states with what USA Today termed the "healthiest foreclosure markets."

The story said that the number of completed foreclosures dropped to 45,000 units in December, a 14 percent drop from 52,000 units for the same month in the previous year, according to an analysis by CoreLogic. Florida, New Jersey, and New York have the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of mortgaged homes, but 36 states have an inventory level that falls below the national rate.

Minnesota ranked seventh on the USA Today list for the lowest number of foreclosures, with 9,364 foreclosures in 2013, giving the state a foreclosure inventory of 0.7 percent. North Dakota was third on the publication's list, with 417 completed foreclosures last year for a foreclosure inventory rate of 0.6 percent. South Dakota was ranked ninth, with a foreclosure inventory rate of 0.7 percent. The number of South Dakota foreclosures was not included on the list.

The national foreclosure inventory — which contains homes in some stage of the foreclosure process — fell 31 percent to about 837,000 units in December.

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune published an analysis of the Twin Cities housing market, and concluded that it is "firmly in recovery." The story noted that buyers are confident, and that their attitude is solidified by a body of optimistic statistics. The newspaper tracked and analyzed a number of factors that provide a snapshot of a housing market with momentum. The numbers show that the region is in its third consecutive year of gains in sales and home prices. The median price of all 2013 transactions was 28 percent higher than when the market hit bottom in 2011.

The story adds that the recovery has favored some neighborhoods and communities more than others. Especially in some parts of the city of Minneapolis, sellers are getting even more than they did at the peak of the market, but homeowners in many parts of the region "...are still years from being whole after losing billions of dollars in equity that evaporated during the downturn."

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