Foreclosures around the nation are down significantly and Georgia’s foreclosure rate saw a dip of almost 50 percent during the first half of 2013, according to RealtyTrac. The company also found that last month lenders initiated the foreclosure process on 57,286 homes, the lowest level for any month in 7 1/2 years.

Despite the good news, the peach state isn’t entirely out of the woods yet. Even with the dramatic reduction, Georgia recorded 37,743 foreclosures in the first six months of the year, bringing the foreclosure rate to 0.86 percent. That was an improvement, but stll means that one in every 117 mortgaged homes in the state was faced foreclosure.

“Halfway through 2013, it is becoming increasingly evident that while foreclosures are no longer a national problem, they continue to be a state and local market problem,” said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

Nationally, about 0.61 percent of all U.S. housing units (one in 164) had at least one foreclosure filing in the first six months of the year. Foreclosure starts are on pace to reach roughly 800,000 in 2013, down from 1.1 million last year, RealtyTrac said.

Completed foreclosures, when the lender repossesses a home, are on track to hit a half-million, or about a quarter below last year’s total.

The trend comes as the U.S. housing recovery continues to gain strength, propelled by steady job gains, low interest rates, improving consumer confidence and growing demand for homes at a time when there’s a thin supply of available homes for sale in many markets, according to the Associated Press.

The reduction in foreclosures has helped boost home prices, which jumped 12.2 percent in May from a year earlier – the biggest gain in seven years, according to data provider CoreLogic.

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