New foreclosure data show that the number of U.S. homes repossessed by lenders fell to the lowest level in more than five years last month.
Foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. says home repossessions fell 3 percent in March from the previous month and 21 percent from a year earlier.
That's the lowest level since September 2007.
The decline is the latest evidence that the nation's foreclosure crisis is abating amid an improving housing market.
RealtyTrac expects completed foreclosures to reach 600,000 this year, down from 671,000 last year.
Still, the number of homes entering the foreclosure process edged higher for the second month in a row in March.
Foreclosure starts rose 2 percent from February, but were still down 28 percent from March last year.