LAS VEGAS -- Nevada's home foreclosure rate in February plummeted from the same month a year ago but was still third highest in the nation, RealtyTrac reported Wednesday night.
The real estate analytics company from Irvine, Calif., reported 1,850 foreclosure filings in Nevada last month, a 49 percent drop from February 2013. The filings included 426 default-related notices, 875 notices of pending trustee sales and 549 repossessions by lenders.
The volume of default-related notices, which begins the foreclosure process, dropped nearly 79 percent in Nevada from a year ago. Repossessions were also down 27 percent statewide.
But with one new filing for every 633 housing units, Nevada still ranked behind only Florida (one filing per 372 units) and Maryland (one filing per 557 units). The national average was one filing per 1,170 housing units.
Nevada also ranked third with a 21 percent increase in owner-vacated foreclosures since last fall.
RealtyTrac also reported that foreclosure filings nationally fell 27 percent in February compared with a year ago. The 112,498 filings represented the nation's lowest monthly total since December 2006.
"Cold weather and a short month certainly contributed to a seasonal drop in foreclosure activity in February, but the reality is that new activity is no longer the biggest threat to the housing market when it comes to foreclosures," RealtyTrac vice president Daren Blomquist said.
"The biggest threat from foreclosures going forward is properties that have been lingering in the foreclosure process for years, many of them vacant with neither the distressed homeowner or the foreclosing lender taking responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the home — or at the very least facilitating a sale to a new homeowner more likely to perform needed upkeep and maintenance."