Home sales rise, but many are foreclosures - East Valley Tribune: News

Home sales rise, but many are foreclosures

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Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008 12:32 pm | Updated: 9:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The good news is that the number of homes sold in Maricopa County rose nearly 9 percent in June compared with May, according to an Arizona State University report.

Click to view a graphic of Valley home sales
Valley existing home sales, comparing June 2007 to 2008 data. David Wodfill, Gabriel Utasi/TRIBUNE, Source: Reality Studies at ASU Polytechnic

The bad news is that more than four out of every 10 of those sales were foreclosures, a slight increase from the previous month.

According to the study released Thursday by the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness at ASU Polytechnic in Mesa, 7,840 home sales were recorded in June. Of those, 3,275, or nearly 42 percent, were returned to lenders or sold to the highest bidders through foreclosure.

The total number of sales last month was higher than May's 7,210, but, so was the percentage of foreclosures. Foreclosed homes during May totaled 2,895, or about 40 percent.

"Things don't look real good," said Jay Butler, who heads ASU's Realty Studies Department.

June's foreclosure figures look even worse when compared with the same period last year, when only 575 of the 5,145 home sales, or 11 percent, were foreclosed properties.

Butler warned these trends will continue until the current economic downtown and rising prices for food and energy start to subside.

"Everybody's net income is just getting creamed," he said. "People are just getting nickeled and dimed."

The county's foreclosure rate first reached as much as 40 percent in January, experts said. That's likely the highest it's been since the early 1990s, Butler said.

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