Once-Slammed Phoenix Sees Housing Turnaround Economists say it hit bottom and is beginning to rebound By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 13, 2012 3:42 PM CDT 4 comments Comments A foreclosure sign sits outside a home for sale in Phoenix in 2009. Sales are now picking up in the city. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) (Newser) – Few cities got hit harder by the bursting real estate bubble than Phoenix, notes the Wall Street Journal, which points out that prices plunged 55% as the foreclosure rate rose to No. 3 in the nation. Despite those bleak stats—or maybe because of them—the city is now enjoying "a nascent real-estate rebound" that is drawing the attention of economists, writes Nick Timiraos. One key reason: "Phoenix has hit a bottom," says a renowned housing economist. Prices have dropped to the point that first-time buyers and investors can no longer resist. In the latter category, Canadians especially are scooping up bargains because of the favorable exchange rate. It helps, too, that big employers such as Amazon and Intel are hiring again. But the good news doesn't mean much to homeowners who bought just prior to the big collapse: More than half are underwater.