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Phoenix-area foreclosures spike in January

Foreclosure activity returned with a vengeance to the Phoenix-area housing market in January after slowing down considerably in the waning months of 2010, according to an Arizona State University resale-home market report issued Wednesday. Single-family-home foreclosures surged to 3,620 transactions in January, up from 2,440 transactions in December, according to the report. As a percentage of all transactions, foreclosures on detached, single-family homes increased to 43 percent of activity, after three months in which foreclosures made up 30 percent of activity. There were 4,705 single-family-home resale transactions in January, down from 5,715 resales in December, but more than the 4,225 transactions recorded in January 2010. Among townhouse and condominium sales activity in January, 520 of the area's 1,320 resale transactions were foreclosures, about 40 percent. The median sale price for a single-family home in Maricopa County in January was $125,000 and the median condominium or townhouse price was $76,000. Both median prices are comparable to those in December, when the median single-family home price was $125,000 and the median condo price was $75,000. Likewise, single-family and condo prices were down compared with those in January 2010, when they were $136,500 and $95,000, respectively.