Foreclosure activity was up in 57 percent of U.S. metro markets last year, but the Sacramento area saw a decline in activity, according to a report released today by Irvine-based RealtyTrac.
RealtyTrac's "2012 Year-End Metropolitan Foreclosure Market Report" showed the Sacramento area with a 2.94 percent foreclosure rate, ranking it 20th nationwide.
That was a fairly substantial improvement over 4.17 percent in 2011, good for a No. 10 ranking.
Still, California cities accounted for the nation's top four metro foreclosure rates, led by Stockton with 3.98 percent, or about one in every 25 housing units. The next three, respectively, were Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (3.86 percent), Modesto (3.82 percent) and Vallejo-Fairfield (3.73 percent).
California had seven metro areas among the top 20 U.S. foreclosure rates; Florida communities accounted for eight of the top 20.
"Markets with increasing foreclosure activity in 2012 took the first step in finally purging delayed distress left over from the bursting housing bubble," said Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac vice president.