The nationwide inventory of foreclosed U.S. residential properties jumped 12.7% in December, the biggest surge since March 2005, according to Foreclosure.com, an online foreclosure listing service based in Boca Raton, Fla.The inventory totaled 91,905 properties. Meanwhile, there were 24,124 new foreclosed residential properties listed in December, an increase of 7.7%, the company reported. "The relative stability of U.S. foreclosure inventory ended in December," said Brad Geisen, president and chief executive officer of Foreclosure.com. "With lending institutions closing their books at the end of the year, it is somewhat common for the foreclosure inventory to rise. It is premature to predict that December's inventory indicates a foreclosure crisis in the U.S. However, this rise in inventory, which is higher than in recent years, should be closely monitored as 2006 begins." The company can be found online at http://www.foreclosure.com.

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