foreclosureFor the first time in nine years, there are fewer properties in foreclosure than before the housing crisis. The number of foreclosed properties fell by 24,000 in March. The total number of properties in foreclosure is now at 631,000; the lowest total since 2007. However, all of the news is not positive. New home sales fell in March for the third straight month.

In a Yahoo Finance story, the number of consumers that are doing better economically and lower unemployment  are helping homeowners stay up on their payments causing fewer foreclosures. In some areas of the country, including Florida, the recovery has been so good that home prices are improving. Yahoo finds that in locations where the prices have rebounded so well that some first-time home buyers are having trouble finding affordable homes.

The major banks are beginning to lay off staff because the back log of foreclosures is easing. Wells Fargo recently let 250 staff go. Most of these positions deal with delinquencies. Analysts are happy with the recovery but say that the last time the market was “normal” was in the 90s.

New home sales were off in March; which is the third straight month of declines. This is not good news for sellers and realtors heading into the time of year that is usually the busiest.