The number of U.S. homes that got started on the path to foreclosure fell last year to a low not seen since before the high-flying days of the housing boom, the latest evidence that the threat of foreclosures continues to diminish.
Lenders also took back the fewest number of homes last year since 2007, at the dawn of the foreclosure crisis, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.
While foreclosures remain elevated in many populous states, such as Florida, New York and California, they have been steadily declining since the U.S. housing market and economy began to rebound after years of decline.
The U.S. housing market has emerged from a deep slump, aided by rising home prices, steady job growth and fewer troubled loans dating back to the housing-bubble days. Meanwhile, more homeowners are keeping up with their mortgage payments.