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Foreclosures rise again in the Phoenix area

February 11, 2011

The number of foreclosures in the Phoenix area jumped back up in January, putting a damper on hopes for a quick 2011 recovery in the hard-hit housing market. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University reveals details.

While foreclosures represented about 30 percent of the transactions in the single-family-home resale market in the last few months of 2010, the rate bounced back up to 43 percent in the first month of 2011.

“The main question for the coming months is whether the January surge in foreclosure activity is a temporary response in unclogging the pipeline after foreclosure moratoriums ended or a continuation of a market being dominated by foreclosures,” says associate professor of Real Estate Jay Butler, who wrote the report.

More than 3,600 single-family homes were foreclosed in January. That’s way up from less than 2,500 in December.

Right now, single-family home prices are staying relatively low in the Phoenix area. The median price for home resales (not including new foreclosures) was $125,000 in January, the same as December. This was a big drop from last January’s median of $136,500.

“For the last year, about 40 percent of the traditional sales were foreclosed homes sold again with a median price markdown of 14 percent from the foreclosed price,” explains Butler.

In the townhouse/condominium market, the foreclosure rate is also high. Of the 1,320 townhome/condo transactions in January, about 40 percent (520) were foreclosures. The median townhome/condo price was $76,000 in January, slightly up from $75,000 in December, but way down from $95,000 in January of last year.

Butler’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at More analysis is also available from Knowledge@W. P. Carey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at