Valley foreclosure rate finally falls below 30 percent - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Valley foreclosure rate finally falls below 30 percent

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Posted: Thursday, August 11, 2011 12:42 pm

For the first time since the spring of 2009, the Valley’s foreclosure rate has dropped below 30 percent of the existing-home transactions in the market.

A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University confirms five months in a row of foreclosure-rate declines.

In January and February, foreclosures represented 43 percent of the existing-home transactions in the market. Then, the rate fell to 38 percent in March, 36 percent in April, 35 percent in May, 31 percent in June, and finally, to 29 percent in July.

But experts say any celebration would be premature.

“While the local housing market is beginning to produce some positive movement, the main concern is the economic environment that surrounds the market,” said W. P. Carey School of Business professor emeritus Jay Butler.

“Currently, there are mounting concerns about the anemic job and economic growth that are limiting consumer confidence.”

The market had a little more than 2,500 single-family home foreclosures in July. That’s an improvement from almost 3,300 foreclosures in June and more than 3,800 foreclosures last July.

The median price for a single-family home resold in the market in July (not new foreclosures) was $124,900. That’s down from $126,500 in June and $137,500 last July.

“Until there is a more favorable economic and financing environment, investors will continue to be the leading buyers of local housing, instead of more permanent and stable homeowner/occupants,” Butler said.

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