Photos: More million-dollar foreclosures in ArizonaPosted: Updated:
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By Jim Carr
Home prices are hitting new depths in most major U.S. cities and are expected to fall further over the next six months. In a majority of metro areas tracked by Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller, prices have fallen to their lowest points since the housing bubble burst.
> View Photos: Million Dollar Foreclosures in Arizona
Eleven of the markets hit their lowest point since the housing bubble burst in 2006 and 2007: Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Seattle, Tampa, Fla., and Portland, Ore.
Three out of every four sales in southern Nevada are foreclosures or "short sales." These sales occur when a bank lets a homeowner sell a home for less than what's owed on the mortgage.
"You can see how many people's dreams just didn't make it," said Karin Wilson, a real estate agent with Century 21 in Las Vegas.
For many, the problem is getting worse. In Phoenix, about 70 percent of all homes with a mortgage were at risk of foreclosure in January, according to the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.
The median home price has dropped by half since 2008, to roughly $110,000. Prices in one central Phoenix zip code have plunged 81 percent in the past three years.
Millions of foreclosures are also expected to flood the market this year. That will force prices still lower. For many, the big question is, when will prices bottom? Some have tried to time their purchases to buy at the bottom. It often hasn't worked.
Matthew Hartman, a 38-year-old sales manager in Chicago, thought he was getting a steal in 2009 when he bought a four-bedroom house for $395,000. He sold it last month for $370,000.
"We kind of thought that the market was toward the bottom, especially when we moved here in August of last year," he said. "We thought we got a great deal on this house."
AP Business Writer Alex Veiga in Los Angeles contributed to this report. Herron reported from New York.