Associated Press
Utah's home foreclosure rate dropped significantly in 2012.

The sum of completed annual foreclosures hit a five-year low in April, with the national foreclosure rate showing a 24 percent dip in the past year, according to a report by CoreLogic, a financial data and analytics service.

Though the current national rate of foreclosure rests at 2.8 percent, the study shows that 33 states have a foreclosure rate below the national average.

The five states with the highest number of foreclosures in the past 12 months are Florida (102,000 foreclosures), California (79,000 foreclosures), Michigan (68,000 foreclosures), Texas (53,000 foreclosures) and Georgia (47,000 foreclosures).

As MarketWatch points out, the states with the highest foreclosure rates are also those where lenders must first go through the court system to transition a borrower into foreclosure.

The lowest number of foreclosures were in West Virginia (527), Hawaii (466), North Dakota (461), Washington, D.C., (100) and South Dakota (81).

The state of Utah had a reported 4,105 foreclosures between April 2012 and April 2013, placing it below the national average

“The shadow of foreclosure and distress continues to fade,” CoreLogic’s chief economist, Dr. Mark Fleming, was quoted as saying in the report.

Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, also expressed optimism, saying that fewer distressed properties and improved home prices and home purchases “are significant signals that the ongoing recovery in the housing and mortgage markets continues to gather steam.”

Since the beginning of the Great Recession, approximately 4.4 million foreclosures have been completed.

JJ Feinauer is a graduate of Southern Virginia University and an intern for the Moneywise page on Email: [email protected], Twitter: @johnorjj.