Arizona Foreclosure Activity Surges 304% in Q1 2008

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RealtyStore (http://www.realtystore.com), the nation's leading provider of foreclosure listings, released its quarterly Arizona Foreclosure Report. Auction notices in Arizona have jumped 304% since Q1 2007 due to declining home values and residential construction activity. Many homeowners are simply walking away from their homes that are now worth less than what they owe to the bank.

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RealtyStore (http://www.realtystore.com), the nation's leading provider of foreclosure listings, released its quarterly Arizona Foreclosure Report.

Declining home values, mounting inventory and slowing residential construction have led to skyrocketing foreclosure rates in Arizona. For Q1 2008, 1 out of every 80 Arizona households received an auction notice, almost 3 times the national average. RealtyStore.com recorded 23,607 auction notices statewide for Q1 2008, representing a 46% increase from Q4 2007 and a 304% jump over Q1 2007. An auction notice, also known as a Notice of Trustee Sale (NTS) or Notice of Foreclosure Sale (NFS), is filed by the lending institution when a homeowner fails to cure their default. This is the second stage of foreclosure where the lender formally records its intent to sell the property through a public auction.

"Over the past two years, Phoenix home values have dropped 25% while foreclosures have increased six-fold. For-sale signs and vacant storefronts are a common sight," said Tim Chin, CEO of RealtyStore. "Stimulus plans proposed by Congress will not outpace the damage caused by plummeting home values in an economy heavily reliant on residential growth. Arizona housing prices will continue to slide through 2008 and will only begin to stabilize during the second half of 2009."

Maricopa County, the nation's 4th most populous county and home to Arizona's largest city and capital Phoenix, started off the first quarter with 17,214 auction notices. This was a 350% spike from the auction notices recorded in Q1 of last year. With over $600 billion worth of ARMs due to reset this year, many Arizona homeowners will find their payments soaring by as much as 100%. Distressed borrowers unable to cope with payment increases will enter the foreclosure process at an increasing rate. Home values will be further suppressed by the glut of bargain-priced foreclosures flooding the Arizona home sale market. Unfortunately, the bottom of the Arizona housing market is yet to come; as more and more homeowners are simply walking away from homes that are now worth less than what they owe to the bank.

About RealtyStore.com:
Founded in 2005, RealtyStore.com is the fastest growing, most trusted provider of foreclosure listings and information in the nation with over 1 million pre-foreclosure, foreclosure auction, bank-owned, and tax sale property listings. Collected from hundreds of public and private sources, RealtyStore's proprietary database includes extensive property characteristics (including pictures and maps), default and tax information, comparable home values, and neighborhood demographics information. For more information, visit http://www.realtystore.com.

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Tim Chin
RealtyStore
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