Foreclosure starts are the number of homes just entering the foreclosure process. Meanwhile, overall foreclosure activity, which includes bank repossessions, was down 62% from a year ago.
Daren Blomquist is with RealtyTrac, the research firm that released the data.
"That 62% decrease that we saw in August from a year ago was the 21st consecutive month where foreclosure activity has decreased in California on a year-over-year basis. That also meant that California's foreclosure rate was ranked number 12 nationwide, so it continued to rank out of that top ten."
That's after California had been a fixture in the Top Ten since 2008.
Meanwhile, more than 450-properties in Stockton received a foreclosure filing in August. That was up 27% from the previous month. But it was down by more than 60% from the same time last year. Stockton had the 19th highest foreclosure rate among major U.S. cities.
Blomquist says in Sacramento County, about 1,200 properties received a foreclosure filing in August.
"That was up 8% from the previous month but still down 64% from a year ago continuing a downward trend we've also seen there. And the foreclosure rate in Sacramento was much lower than that in Stockton, it ranked number 50 among all the metro areas nationwide."
Blomquist says Nevada saw a whopping 104% monthly surge in foreclosure activity in August. The increase came after two straight-months of declines in June and July.
"Nevada's really been on a roller coaster ride and it has less to do with the condition of the housing market than the state legislation that's changing the process."
The legislation he's talking about includes new regulations for the mortgage industry. Blomquist says lenders have adjusted to those new rules and that's why Nevada saw a big increase in foreclosures.
Meanwhile, the Reno housing market saw a similar jump in the numbers.
"In August we saw a total of 452 properties with foreclosure filings there. That was up 311% month over month."
Nevada had the country's highest foreclosure rate last month.