Foreclosure activity in Massachusetts continued to decline last month, with 247 foreclosure deeds recorded locally in September, a 52 percent drop from the same month a year ago, the Warren Group said Tuesday.

Timothy M. Warren Jr. Photo courtesy of the Warren Group.

It was the 16th consecutive month of year-over-year completed foreclosure declines, the firm said.

Meanwhile, foreclosure petitions, an early step in the foreclosure process, dropped to 438 in September, a 69 percent year-to-year decrease, said the Warren Group, a Boston-based firm that tracks local real estate and foreclosure activity.

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“The foreclosure numbers in September and the third quarter further bolster the opinion that foreclosures are in full retreat due to a booming real estate market and government programs designed to assist homeowners who are delinquent on their mortgages,” Warren Group chief executive Timothy M. Warren Jr. said in a statement. “It’s been a solid year of foreclosure decreases, indicating the worst of the housing crisis is over.”