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Friday, February 24, 2012

An "Upbeat" report on the Phoenix Housing Market

by Calculated Risk on 2/24/2012 08:44:00 AM

Just passing along some of what I'm reading ...

From Catherine Reagor the Arizona Republic: Report: Upbeat findings for Arizona housing market

Metro Phoenix home prices are up. Fewer inexpensive homes are for sale, and the number of pending foreclosures is down.

The positive housing-market update comes from Arizona State University's newest real-estate report.
The median price of all home sales, including new homes, reached $120,500 in January of this year, Orr reports. That compares with $113,166 a year earlier.

The average price per square foot of Valley houses has climbed 3 percent since last year.
"Many people think there's a glut of homes the banks are hiding somewhere, and that may be the case in other markets, but not here in the Phoenix area," [Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice for ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business].

"We've gone through so many foreclosures that the system has been working itself out for about five years."
The supply of homes listed for sale in metro Phoenix is down 42 percent from a year earlier.
We have to be careful using median prices because the median can be impacted by the mix. As an example, fewer foreclosures at the low end could lead to higher median prices, even if repeat sale prices are still falling. However the most recent Case-Shiller price index for Phoenix (through November) did show a small increase over the previous three months.

The sharp decline in inventory is a clear positive, although in most areas there will be more foreclosures this year - and that will add to inventory a little (for more on inventory, see my post yesterday: Comments on Existing Home Inventory)