Home foreclosure rates in Waco continue to improve, with only 1.10 percent of outstanding mortgage loans reaching foreclosure status in December.

That mark iss down from November and the lowest since the 1.08 percent in April 2011.

Foreclosure activity was lower than the national rate of 2.96 percent in December, the most recent month for which CoreLogic has local data.

The delinquency rate decreased in Waco, too. According to CoreLogic, 3.58 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent in December, compared to 4.14 percent for the same month last year, said California-based CoreLogic, which tracks real estate trends nationally.

Across the country, there were 61,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in January, down from 75,000 in January last year.

To put that in perspective, before the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month between 2000 and 2006.

Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been about 4.2 million completed foreclosures across the country.

CoreLogic said about 1.2 million homes were in some stage of foreclosure in the U.S. as of January 2013, down from 1.5 million in January 2012.

This was the 15th straight month with a year-over-year decline, the company said.

“The backlog of distressed assets continues to fade as the foreclosure inventory has fallen to a level not seen since mid-2009, with less than 3 percent of all mortgages in foreclosure,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming. “Only six states and 13 of the largest 100 metro areas has an increase in the foreclosure rate year over year.”

Added Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, “We still have a million homes in some stage of foreclosure, which is too high, but the continuing downward trend in completed foreclosures is a very positive signal that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The five states with the highest number of completed foreclosures for the 12 months ending in January were California (96,000); Florida, (95,000); Michigan (74,000); Texas (59,000); and Georgia, (50,000).

These five states account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

The five states with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of all mortgaged homes were Florida (10 percent); New Jersey, (7.2); New York (5.1); Nevada (4.7); and Illinois, (4.6).

States with the lowest foreclosure inventory included Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado.

The National Association of Realtors named Waco one of the improving housing markets in the United States for the third consecutive month in December.

It ranks metropolitan areas as “improving” if they show increases in housing construction permits, employment and home prices for at least six consecutive months when compared to the “troughs” or low points in each category during recovery from the recession.