Most homeowners in Southwest Florida are no longer threatened with losing their properties to foreclosure.

In the Sarasota-Manatee region, 3.4% of mortgages were at least 30 days late in August, down from 4.1% one year earlier, data provider CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

Charlotte County also reported a 3.4% mortgage delinquency rate, also down from 4.1% last year.

Sarasota-Manatee ranked 277th and Charlotte 278th among the 381 U.S. metro areas studied for the report, CoreLogic said.

The foreclosure inventory rate — the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process — fell over the year from 1.2% to 0.8% in Sarasota-Manatee and from 0.9% to 0.7% in Charlotte.

Foreclosures down in Southwest Florida
Adobe Stock

That's a long way from the depth of the housing crisis. The foreclosure rate in Sarasota-Manatee peaked at 12.23% in June 2011, while Charlotte hit a high of 11.93% in February 2010.

The improvement in keeping mortgage payments current tracked the national trend, where delinquency and foreclosure rates have dipped to their lowest levels since 2006.

"Serious delinquency and foreclosure rates are at their lowest levels in more than a decade, signaling the final stages of recovery in the U.S. housing market," said Frank Martell, president/CEO at CoreLogic. "As the construction and mortgage industries move forward, there needs to be not only a ramp up in homebuilding but also a focus on maintaining prudent underwriting practices to avoid repeating past mistakes."

Florida posted a 5.3% mortgage delinquency rate, down from 6.3% over the year. The current foreclosure rate of 1.1% improved from 1.5% a year earlier.

Nationally, the delinquency rate dropped from 5.2% to 4.6%, while the foreclosure rate slipped from 0.9% to 0.6%.

Meanwhile, the "serious" delinquency rate — loans 90 days or more late — was 1.7% in Sarasota-Manatee, compared with 2.4% last year. Charlotte fell from 2.2% to 1.6%.

The Florida rate declined from 3.5% to 2.5%, while the national rate of 1.9% was down from 2.4%.

Tribune Content Agency