Things are getting better!?!

Maricopa County Notice of Trustee Sales plummeted to 2,842 in November 2011, compared with 4,948 during the same period in 2010 – a decrease of 57%.

Phoenix, AZ, December 12, 2011 — Default Research, Inc., (, a major aggregator of national pre-foreclosure data, reports that Maricopa County Notice of Trustee Sales plummeted to 2,842 in November 2011, compared with 4,948 during the same period in 2010 – a decrease of 57%.

Burt Cooper, Vice-President of Default Research, Inc., said the figures show a marked improvement in the Phoenix-area housing market – and is good news for homeowners and those with an interest in buying.

“While a 57% drop in Maricopa County Notice of Trustee Sales is good news – there were over 7,000 in July of 2009 – the real takeaway for anyone interested in the Maricopa County housing market comes down to one word: stability,” Cooper said.

“Median sales prices seem to be rock solid right now, holding at about $95,000. Sure, this is less than half of what it was at the height of the real estate bubble (more than $250,000), but at least median prices aren’t falling.”

Cooper said he believes the improved price stability is directly connected to the somewhat improved economic situation in Maricopa County, where the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is approximately 7.9% — better than the national and state averages, 8.2% and 8.9%, respectively.

Moving forward, Cooper said short sales, snowbirds and foreign buyers hold the keys to Maricopa County’s housing future, at least for the short term. “There are still a lot of homeowners facing significant pressures. One solution to these pressures is the short sale (an arrangement where a lender agrees to accept less than the amount owed in order to help a struggling homeowner get out from under a mortgage they can’t afford).”

Default Research, a major supplier of pre-foreclosure data, provides timely default figures to real estate agents, brokers and other real estate professionals, many of whom use figures to identify short sale leads.

Cooper also said that snowbirds and foreign buyers can help the somewhat-improved Maricopa County housing market. “Snowbirds – and foreign buyers – are a special breed. Not only do they tend to have money, but they’re not afraid to spend it on things they want,” Cooper said.

“This means they don’t typically get too wrapped up in negotiations. If they want it, they buy it – and they move in.”

Cooper has one last thought on the local housing market, which complements Maricopa County Notice of Trustee Sales numbers: “We now have a real trend forming. We’ve made it a whole year where foreclosure rates didn’t go up and home prices stayed the same. This is a sign of housing market life – great news for an area that can use it.”

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