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Back to normal? Expert says foreclosure numbers are good sign

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PHOENIX -

An expert from ASU says the valley has finally reached "normal" in one important area of the real estate market.

In the spring and summer of 2009, the valley was awash in the foreclosures. Today, four years later, some welcome news on the foreclosure front.

Foreclosure notices are down. Way down. In fact, they are back to the level they were in 2002 for Maricopa County -- 1,400 notices of foreclosure a month.

"It's gone back to 1,400 so we're at normal and when you allow for the population increase that's better than normal," says Michael Orr, ASU School of Real Estate.

Orr has watched the valley real estate market flounder through as many as 10,000 notices of foreclosures in one month -- that was in March of 2009. Now we've made it through that storm.

"It's one step back to the market improving and recovering, however, what I'm seeing is Arizona seems to overreact. We've had some pretty terrible times and we've got prices going up faster than expected."

Not everyone will be rejoicing over the news we're returning to normal on the foreclosure numbers.

"It's great news for people who held on to a home. It's bad news for buyers who are out of the market right now and want to get in, because one of the key things they're finding is there's a shortage of homes available."

Also not happy to see normal?

"We've built up an industry around foreclosure. There's a lot of people that make money doing foreclosures… they're all going to be looking around saying where did they all go?"

Orr says he hears people saying all the time, there is a bubble forming and when it pops, prices will come back down. He says he doesn't see that happening in the near future, as things continues to stabilize in the market here and across the country.

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