The number of properties in some stage of foreclosure fell 26 percent in the United States last year, according to RealtyTrac, a California real estate data firm.
According to RealtyTrac, there were foreclosure filings — default notices, schedule auctions, or bank repossessions — on 1.36 million U.S. properties in 2013. That's the lowest annual total since 2007, and down 53 percent from the peak of 2.9 million in 2010.
In the four-county Toledo metro area, there were 4,734 housing units with foreclosure filings in 2013, down 18 percent from 2012.
In December, 370 filings were recorded in the Toledo area, down 37 percent from November and down 39 percent from December, 2012.
About 1.5 percent of Ohio properties were somewhere in the foreclosure process in 2013, ranking the Buckeye State fifth among states with the highest foreclosure rates, behind Florida, Nevada, Illinois, and Maryland. Just under 1 percent of Michigan homes were in the foreclosure process, ranking it 17th.
Nationwide, the average time to complete a foreclosure increased to a record-high 564 days in the fourth quarter of 2013. New York had the longest average time at 1,029 days.
In the last eight years, 10.9 million U.S. properties have started the foreclosure process and 5.6 million have been repossessed by lenders through foreclosure, RealtyTrac said.
Foreclosure starts declined 42 percent in Michigan and 28 percent in Ohio in 2013, compared with 2012.
Bank repossessions declined in 38 states in 2013. Michigan's decrease of 47 percent was the fifth-biggest in the country.