I suspect the spike has something to do with redevelopment. Here in my town (I live in Minnesota, but it could be anywhere) the city has decided to spend tax dollars to buy up properties, some of which are in poor condition. They tear down the homes and sell off the properties to developers at rock bottom prices and then the developer builds McMansions that don't fit in the neighborhood. Suckers buy up the houses in the "revitalized" neighborhood in 2008 and by 2010 they are complaining to the city that some of their neighbors aren't rich snobs like they are. So the city buys up more property, to sell at a loss to developers.
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