Completed foreclosures and distressed inventory continued their downfall in June, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Data for last month showed 55,000 homes were lost to foreclosure, down 20 percent from June 2012. The decrease represents the 19th month-in-a-row completed foreclosures have ticked down. However, on a monthly basis, completed foreclosures inched up by 2.5 percent.

Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, about 4.5 million homes have been lost to foreclosure.

The level of foreclosure inventory also came down in June. According to CoreLogic’s estimate, about 1 million homes were in some stage of foreclosure, which represents a 28 percent annual decrease and a 2.9 percent decline from May 2013. The yearly decline marks the 20th consecutive month inventory has trended down.

Serious delinquencies are also posing less of a threat to distressed inventory.

“So far this year, distressed inventories have fallen dramatically, down 14.4 percent, and serious delinquencies are down 15.9 percent,” added Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “In the first six months of 2013, the stock of seriously delinquent mortgages has dropped by 412,000.”

Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, described June’s improvement as “broad-based,” noting 49 states have posted annual declines in foreclosure rates.

The one state to see a slight increase was Arkansas, where the foreclosure rate rose 0.1 percent from a year ago.

“The housing market is clearly on the mend, but we expect the ultimate conclusion of the present housing down cycle to be another several years away,” he added.

In June, Florida continued to lead as the state with the highest number of completed foreclosures over the last year after 107,000 homes were lost to the process.

California followed, with 72,000 completed foreclosures, while Michigan (63,000), Texas (48,000), and Georgia (44,000) rounded out the top five, which account for almost half of all completed foreclosures nationally.

Again, Florida led with the highest foreclosure inventory rate, at 8.6 percent, which is more than three times the national rate of 2.5 percent.

Also in the top five were New Jersey (6.0 percent), New York (4.8 percent), Connecticut (4.2 percent), and Maine (4.1 percent).

by Esther Cho