Phoenix sees stronger sales, fewer foreclosures

Foreclosures in the city of Phoenix dropped to their lowest since March 2008 this October, according to one real estate data and analytics firm.

Foreclosures in the city of Phoenix dropped to their lowest since March 2008 this October, according to one real estate data and analytics firm.

Phoenix was among the cities struck worst by foreclosures and related problems in the housing market, with 45,628 total foreclosures in the first 10 months of 2011 and 13.1 percent more than that the year before. In October, however, the foreclosure rate was 9.7 percent lower than the previous month and 39 percent lower year-over-year.

The changed pace is attributed partly to efforts by mortgage servicers to slow the process in order to correct documentation and adapt to new federal regulations. In the case of Phoenix, however, the October improvement coincides with a 15.2 percent year-over-year increase in home sales, the highest total in two years in the sixth consecutive month of improvement.

Of the more than 8,000 escrow closings recorded in the city, about 7,300 were existing-home sales. About 16 percent were short sales, a higher percentage than last year, but the proportion of real estate-owned sales was almost 11 percent down to the lowest recorded since July 2008. Overall, the city's single-family market appears to be making significant strides toward recovery, according to experts, although most of the purchase activity was focused on less expensive homes.



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