NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of foreclosed homes held steady in April, while there were fewer properties sitting in the pipeline, fresh signs the housing recovery is on track, data from CoreLogic showed on Wednesday.
There were 52,000 foreclosures completed last month, the same amount as in March, but down about 16 percent from 62,000 in April last year, CoreLogic said (CLGX.N).
Before the housing crisis, foreclosures averaged 21,000 a month between 2000 and 2006. There have been about 4.4 million completed foreclosures since the financial crisis began in September 2008.
There were about 1.1 million homes in some stage of foreclosure in April, down 2 percent from the month before and a drop of 24 percent from a year ago.
Foreclosure inventory accounts for 2.8 percent of all mortgaged homes.
The recovery in the housing market has gained traction since the sector got back to its feet last year. Data on Tuesday showed home prices saw their biggest annual gain in nearly seven years in March. Improving sales, low interest rates and tight inventory have also helped the market.
"Fewer distressed properties, combined with improving home prices and a pickup in home purchases are significant signals that the ongoing recovery in the housing and mortgage markets continues to gather steam," said Anand Nallathambi, chief executive officer of CoreLogic.
Just five states - Florida, California, Michigan, Texas and Georgia - accounted for almost half of all completed foreclosures.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Andrew Hay)