The number of foreclosed homes sold at sheriff's auctions in Minnesota fell during the third quarter of the year.
The non-profit group HousingLink says statewide, from July 1 to Sept. 30, the number of foreclosures fell more than 13 percent compared to the same time last year.
The metro area experienced a bigger drop, with foreclosures down more than 15 percent. Overall, 44 counties saw a decline in foreclosures.
The numbers increased in 35 counties and were flat in eight.
Researcher Dan Hylton says that while any drop in foreclosures is positive, we are still at record historical highs for the state.
"We have moved more from a foreclosure crisis that was based on riskier mortgages and into one that is based more on the economy, and the fact that people just simply can't pay mortgages based on the fact that they are losing their jobs or don't have the same household income," he said.
While the housing crisis began with subprime borrowers, Hylton also says high unemployment appears to be an increasing factor in foreclosures.
"The economics are hitting all communities simultaneously rather than it being a specific type of mortgage or a specific age of housing stock that's contributing it's more economically driven," Hylton said.
Analysts say coordinated anti-foreclosure efforts at the state and county level and federal stimulus measures may have contributed to the overall decline.