Valley housing values, sales improve in Feb., foreclosures down - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Valley housing values, sales improve in Feb., foreclosures down

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Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 6:23 pm | Updated: 8:23 am, Sun Mar 18, 2012.

The Valley’s housing market improved by almost every measure in February, with an increase in values, an uptick in homes sold and a drop in the number of foreclosures.

The Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service reports that 7,249 homes sold in February, up 1.3 percent from a year ago. “Sales above 7,000 units are seen as robust for the Valley’s market,” the report said. Median sale prices also rose, to $122,000 — up from $108,300 in May of 2011.

The total number of homes on the market dipped 5.2 percent from the previous month, to 23,736. Inventory is down 41.6 percent since February 2011, which the RMLS considers a healthy correction that is key in restoring home prices.

Foreclosures continued to decline, to 17,833. That’s a 65 percent increase from the worst period in the market in November 2009. However, the RMLS cautions the recent settlements with some major lenders caught in the robo-signing scandal could flood the market in coming months with more distressed properties. A large influx could hurt pricing and stall the housing recovery.

The listing service said the local recovery is tied to the national economy, as well as the Valley’s employment rate and a migration of new residents.

“The Valley’s market recovery is slow but steady, and all metrics moving in the right direction fuels optimism,” the RMLS said.

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