RIVERSIDE -

A real estate tracking firm has reported that Riverside County's foreclosure rate edged up last month, mirroring a reversal of activity throughout the state.

A total 1,698 mortgage default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions were recorded countywide in March, translating to 1 in 468 households in some stage of foreclosure, according to Irvine-based RealtyTrac.

Riverside County had the eighth highest foreclosure rate in the state last month, while neighboring San Bernardino County had the third-highest rate.

The balance of the top ten was comprised of Northern California counties.

In Riverside County, the number of filings was up 2.3  percent from February -- but down 61 percent compared to a year ago, figures showed.

The increase in filings marks the first time since May 2012 that there has been a month-to-month rise in foreclosure activity locally.

Nationally, 152,500 properties slipped into foreclosure in March, a 1 percent decrease from February and a 23 percent drop compared to a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.

"Although the overall national foreclosure trend continues to head lower, late-blooming foreclosures are bolting higher in some local markets, where aggressive foreclosure prevention efforts in previous years are wearing off," said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president.

California ranked No. 11 in U.S. foreclosure activity in March, with 18,489 properties going into default, or 1 in 737, according to RealtyTrac. The figure was 2.7 percent above the number of filings in February but 59 percent less than a year ago.

Nevada had the highest foreclosure rate nationwide, with 1 in 306 households in default last month.