'09 sales pace driven largely by foreclosures

Lenders in 2009 foreclosed on about 41,000 single-family detached homes in Maricopa County, according to a report from Arizona State University. That's more foreclosures than the Valley has seen during any previous year on record, accounting for more than 35 percent of all existing-home transactions, the report said. Its author, Jay Butler, associate professor of real estate at the W.P. Carey School of Business, said overall home-resale volume in 2009 rivaled that of the real-estate boom's peak year of 2005, but for all the wrong reasons. "That (2005 sales volume) was ... due to rising home values and a type of euphoria about real-estate investment," Butler said. "Now we're seeing a totally different type of activity driven by foreclosures."

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