LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A healthier U.S. housing market and economy helped to winnow foreclosures in 2014 to levels not seen since before the housing bust.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac says the number of homes repossessed by banks fell 29 percent last year to the lowest level since 2006.

One reason for the drop: fewer homes entered the foreclosure process last year.

The firm says foreclosure starts tumbled 14 percent versus a year earlier to the lowest level since 2006.

The latest data reflect how foreclosures have diminished in recent years from a national crisis to a largely market-specific concern as housing has emerged from a deep slump, aided by a stronger economy and job market.

All told, home repossessions are down 69 percent from their peak of 1.05 million five years ago.

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