Posted: Oct 21, 2013 1:44 PM by Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - Foreclosures have plummeted in the Phoenix area since the peak of the housing crisis.
Lenders took back a record 5,100 homes in the metro area in March 2010, but only 697 homes were the subjects of foreclosures last month, The Arizona Republic reported.
"Phoenix's real-estate market is presently transitioning from the highest number of foreclosures in our history to a period where we'll see the lowest number of foreclosures in our history," said Tom Ruff, real-estate analyst with the Information Market, a data service owned by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.
Short sales also are way down from last year's peak as home prices have increased steadily from the September 2011 low point during the crash.
"Most lenders are still encouraging homeowners facing financial hardship to use short sales as a preferred alternative to foreclosure," said Mike Orr, real-estate analyst with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. "But rising prices mean that fewer people are underwater on their mortgages, eliminating their need to negotiate short sales."
The number of foreclosures in the metro area started escalating in 2008 after home prices began to fall and the economy dropped into a recession.
Government-backed loan modifications helped some homeowners hold on in 2009, but foreclosures were soaring by 2010.
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