Notices of default and trustee deeds fell a combined 22 percent in November from October.

Data from the San Diego County Assessor showed trustee deeds — the last step in the foreclosure process — dipped 17 percent from October to 1,128. Year over year, trustee deeds are down 1 percent.

The number of NODs filed was down nearly 25 percent to 2,182 last month.

Despite the month-to-month drop, November nearly doubled the number of NODs filed in the same month last year when there was a foreclosure moratorium in place from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The month-to-month dips can be attributed to some seasonal declines. On average, over the past five years, foreclosure filings have fallen 10 percent from October to November.

Year to date, there have been 4,189 fewer trustee’s deeds filed this year than 2008.

Even with declining foreclosure numbers, the local foreclosure rate is historically high.

In the first 11 months of 2009, there have been 13,988—that’s 20 percent more trustee’s deeds filed with the county than the annual totals of 2005, 2006 and 2007 combined.

The high number of foreclosures has led to increased activity in the housing market over the past year.  “I think we’re accepting a new normalcy around these market dynamics,” said Goldman.

According to Foreclosure Radar, an online foreclosure tracking tool, homes sold at trustee’s sales in October were up more than five times what they were in October 2008.

The 339 homes sold at trustee’s sales last month made up one-fourth of the 1,356 trustee’s deeds filed with the county in October.

“These are bad times, but there are opportunites,” said Goldman.

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