The number of Riverside County homes falling into foreclosure last month dropped by double digits, leaving the county with its lowest foreclosure rate in years, a real estate tracking firm reported this week.
A total 3,851 mortgage default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions were recorded countywide in August, translating to 1 in 208 households in some stage of foreclosure, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac.
In Murrieta, 224, or 1 in 175, housing units received a foreclosure filing in August, RealtyTrac reported. This was down from 264 filings in July. The November 2011 number of 372 filings was the highest amount during the last 12 months for Murrieta.
Countywide, the number of filings was 12 percent less than the total recorded in July and 31 percent below the year-ago level, data showed.
The comparatively smaller number of filings put the county at No. 10 in foreclosure activity statewide. Since 2008, Riverside County has consistently ranked in the top five.
Neighboring San Bernardino County was just ahead of Riverside, with 1 in 200 households in default, putting it at No. 9. But the balance of counties in the top 10 were concentrated in Northern California.
Stanislaus County was No. 1, with 1 in 172 households in the process of being repossessed.
Nationally, 193,508 properties slipped into foreclosure in August, a 1 percent increase compared to the prior month but 15 percent less than the same period a year ago.
California was No. 3 in the nation in foreclosure volume last month, with 40,200 filings. The figure was 4 percent below the tally in July and 32 percent lower than in August 2011, according to RealtyTrac. One in 340 households were in default statewide.
Illinois was No. 1 in nationwide foreclosure activity, with 1 in 298 households delinquent on their loans; Florida was No. 2 with 1 in 328; Arizona was just behind California at No. 4 with 1 in 360; and Nevada was No. 5 with 1 in 402.
—Maggie Avants contributed to this report.