Report: Buckeye has most foreclosures in state

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BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- Buckeye had among the most foreclosure filings in the nation last year, according to a new report by RealtyTrac.

Out of 100 ZIP codes with the most foreclosures around the nation, 15 were in Arizona -- Phoenix, Laveen, Peoria, Chandler, Goodyear, Maricopa, Surprise, Glendale, Queen Creek, Tolleson and Mesa.

But Realtor and foreclosure expert Art Welch says that's changed over the last six months.

"On a typical month, it used to be you'd have 3,000 to 4,000 homes in Buckeye that were in foreclosure," he said.

Today there are fewer than 500.

In Buckeye, Welch says the average home was $200,000 underwater.

In neighborhoods that were built and sold at the peak of the bubble, foreclosure signs were everywhere.

"They didn't last very long. A lot of people would come in and kind of scoop them up," said Julio Casillas who lives in the 85326 ZIP code, which was named by RealtyTrac as one of the worst neighborhoods for foreclosures.

Casillas bought a home in the Buckeye ZIP code in 2006 and was forced to short sale. Now he's back in the neighborhood as a renter and hoping to buy soon.

As for Welch, he sold eight homes just last weekend.

With most of them going to investors, who will eventually rent the homes out.

Snowbirds and retirees are also buying, along with those who want to sell their current home for cash and downsize.

Welch says he believes Buckeye and most other ZIP codes that made it onto the "most foreclosure filings" list will drop off by the end of the year.