Home prices in Phoenix have been flat for 60 days and are down 6.7 percent from levels six months ago levels, and home prices in Las Vegas market have fallen for two consecutive months to a median price of $309,000 at the end of February, said Alexis McGee, president of Foreclosures.com.

Year-over-year home-price appreciation in San Diego has slowed to 6.4 percent, and sales volume is down throughout Southern California, McGee added, prices in Cape Coral, Fla., have fallen 2.5 percent in the past 30 days while the inventory of unsold homes has jumped 155.6 percent in the past six months, and home-price growth has slowed to 1 percent in the Atlanta metro area during the past three months.

McGee said that in Cape Coral home prices had been flat for six months and had fallen 2.5 percent in the last 30 days. While in six months, the inventory of unsold homes had increased by 155.6 percent. While in Tampa, Fla., prices were down 4.3 percent from six months ago and the inventory was up 129 percent over the same period.

She said the Atlanta, Ga., metro area was more typical of a relatively normal market with prices increasing a modest 1 percent over the last 90 days, but that inventory was creeping up to a total of 39,324 of unsold homes as of March 21.

Also, home prices in Massachusetts have dipped slightly for the first time in nine years. “We’re seeing essentially flat price appreciation in the Northeast,” McGee said. “Inventories are building, even in smaller communities,” McGee said.

Based in Fair Oaks, Calif., Foreclosures.com tracks foreclosures activity and provides information to real estate investors.

In California, McGee said in an announcement today, “There is no crash coming because the excess inventory just isn’t there. We’re just getting back to normal.”

But there are risks of increasing mortgage defaults based on lenders’ issuance of high-risk loans” as lenders sought to compete with each other during the five-year buying frenzy that is now fading away,” she noted. In San Diego, 50 percent of mortgages issued from 2003-05 were either interest-only loans or adjustable-rate mortgages with rates starting as low as 1 percent, Foreclosures.com reported.

The San Francisco Bay Area real estate market is cooling, with nine counties in the region reporting a decline in sales volume and price appreciation.

McGee said in a separate announcement today that Foreclosures.com is opposed to proposed legislation in Illinois, the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act, as it could “seriously impact the rights of homeowners in financial distress as they attempt to sell their way out of foreclosure.”

That law, which would require foreclosure property investors to pay 82 percent of a home’s fair market value to troubled homeowners, “would discourage an ethical foreclosure property investor from even contacting a homeowner in distress, but it won’t stop the crooks,” she said. “They will just find corrupt appraisers to assign values to the properties that will allow them to virtually steal the homes.”

McGee said she also is worried that other legislation in Maryland, which seeks to stamp out foreclosure scams that target homeowners in distress, could lead to problems for homeowners and investors – “interference in free markets (is) not the answer to the problem.”

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