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Foreclosure hotspots show signs of housing turnaround

Several housing markets hit by the foreclosure wave are beginning to show signs of a turnaround with prices appreciating and home inventory levels starting to decline, Move Inc. said in its Top Turnaround Town report Wednesday.

The top turnaround towns include the Phoenix-Mesa area in Arizona, as well as Miami and the Orlando, Fla. markets.

In Phoenix-Mesa, the year-over-year home price appreciation grew 26.94%, while inventory levels declined 48.04%. 

The median age of the area's inventory also fell 32.94% between the first quarter of 2011 and the first three months of 2012, concluded Realtor.com, a site operated by Move Inc. 

In Miami, price appreciation rose 24.32% year-over-year, while inventory levels declined 48.03%. The median age of the inventory in Miami also fell 40.96% from last year.

Orlando, Fla. also saw home prices jump 11.54% in the first quarter compared to last year, while inventory levels declined 41.58% and the average median age of the inventory fell 38.46%.

Other cities on the top 25 list include Oakland, Calif. (which ranks 6th) and San Jose, Calif. (24th). Realtor.com attributes the markets' turnaround status to activity levels at local hi-tech companies and the upcoming Facebook IPO.

Meanwhile, the Dallas and Fort-Worth-Arlington markets rank 12th and 18th, respectively, on the list of turnaround markets.

Detroit, on the other hand, continues to suffer from 10.2% unemployment. Still, the Michigan city saw a 5.82% increase in list price appreciation over last year during the first quarter and its for-sale inventory level fell 29.59%.

"We continue to see signs of stabilization and recovery on the local level throughout the country, basing analysis on the real-time nature and accuracy of the Realtor.com data," said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move Inc. "By all indications, the 2012 housing market is unfolding as we expected, and we’re encouraged with the progress local markets are making. However, much will depend on the continued health of our economy, specifically job rates, and how lenders will release their foreclosure inventories now that the 49 state AG Agreement has been signed."


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