Cross-currents and monthly data on housing foreclosures might be masking a trend of REO inventory decline here in the Northwest. For example, the Seattle metro market posted a 54 percent decline in foreclosure activity, and all of Washington State showed a 67 percent decline in REO sales activity in April, according to UPI. These local trends are covered by national issues and a big release in other states where foreclosures were delayed by the “Robo-Signing” problem or simply stuck in courts until now. So when that backlog moves through this year (which appears to be keeping prices down), at least the volume of foreclosed and bank-owned real estate will be shrinking.