I’m considering our Arizona extremes which is easy to do when there’s an excessive heat warning today (Friday the 14th). Are these the dog days of August yet? I do believe so. And what are “dog days” anyway? According to the old Farmer’s Almanac dog days conjures up the hottest, most sultry days of summer, coinciding with the rising, at sunrise of Sirius, the dog star, (siriusly?) in the constellation Canis Major.

Back to real estate extremes. Not that long ago (2008-2012) Arizona was deluged, actually drowning in foreclosures, short sales and mass relocations (mostly forced) as Arizona was among the hardest hit in the national real estate meltdown. At the peak of this horror, In December 2009, 51,022 foreclosures were pending in Maricopa County. (Pending foreclosures are those which are scheduled for sale by the trustee at some point in the future)

“At the peak of this horror, In December 2009, 51,022 foreclosures were pending in Maricopa County.”

Fast forward to the present, less than six year later, there are just 3499 foreclosures pending. Viewing the accompanied chart, one sees that we have less foreclosures pending now then back in 2002, like 3500 less! This is an amazing and dramatic drop. In fact, Arizona is currently in the top 10 states for the fewest foreclosures pending.

And by the way, how many homes were actually foreclosed on last month? 423. This is compared with 5450 in March of 2010.  All this good news is to say that Maricopa County (Arizona) has turned itself around amazingly in less than 6 years.

And how did this happen? Primarily because of investors who swarmed from within and from outside our county scooping up homes at fire sale prices. Many of these investors rehabbed the property and flipped them, usually to permanent homebuyers which lead to the strengthening of neighborhoods. Large Institutional investors bought and still own thousands of these units in which they turned around and leased providing for the increased demand that came from folks who had to leave home ownership.

There has been discussion about what would happen if these institutional investors were to dump all these homes on the market at one time? My question is why would intelligent investors decide to so something that could drive down the price of their assets? They were smart enough to buy at the bottom of our market, my guess is they will be smart enough to liquidate them a few here and a few there, if they decide to liquidate them at all.