A drop in foreclosures has been a constant occurrence throughout the country as the market slowly recovers from one of the worst housing crises ever.

The January Property Intelligence Report from DataQuick reveals that 31 of the 42 counties analyzed had fewer foreclosures compared to the previous month, quarter and year.

The most significant decrease in foreclosure activity took place in Maricopa County, Ariz., where Phoenix resides, which was down 61% compared to a year ago. Additionally, foreclosures fell by more than 50% on a yearly basis in Tuscon, Ariz., Denver, Fairfax County, Va. (outside Washington), and nine California counties, including the markets of Los Angeles, San Diego, Richmond and Sacramento.

"Though most markets are seeing month-to-month declines in foreclosures, those counties where foreclosure activity is actually growing are experiencing rapid foreclosure increases. For example, the counties of Long Island, N.Y., and Portland, Ore., have seen a roughly 100% increase in foreclosure activity over the past year," says Gordon Crawford, vice president of analytics of DataQuick.

Even though home price growth was positive in 41 of the 42 reported counties since January 2013, the PIR revealed property value appreciation has leveled-off in most markets and even turned negative in others.

For example, the average annualized home value increase across all 42 markets in the PIR dropped from 9.9% in December to 8.9% in January.

Additionally, home sales only were up in 9 of the 42 counties in the PIR.

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