A happy start to the new year for the local real estate market: the foreclosure rate in the Sarasota-Manatee region has dropped below two percent for the first time in seven years. The latest figures from October show a rate of just 1.91 percent, far below the peak rate of 12.23 percent in June of 2011. The news means a shift for real estate agents who have specialized in distressed or foreclosed properties as those opportunities are drying up in the region.