Phoenix Real Estate and Housing Market

Phoenix Business Journal reporter Mike Sunnucks writes on the Phoenix real estate market based on a recent report I released.  He makes a good point that even though sales are down, also down are foreclosures and other distressed sales.  Two areas that are up which I mentioned in my last report are FHA mortgages, most likely because of boomerang buyers, and VA mortgages, most likely because of the 527,400 veterans in Arizona. Aug 13, 2014, 9:53am MST

Phoenix housing market in tortoise mode, slows across the board The Phoenix housing market is in tortoise mode, having slowed on pretty much every indicator — good and bad. Foreclosures are down, and overall that’s a good indicator. But so are sales volumes, investor buys, rentals and price increases, according to various indicators. Numbers from Fletcher Wilcox, a vice president for Scottsdale-based Grand Canyon Title Agency, show there were 28,945 Phoenix-area home sales in the first half of 2014. That’s down from 34,175 for the first half of 2013 and the lowest volume since 2008. Cash purchases — which often come from investors — are also at their lowest levels since 2008. From January through July of this year, single-family homes listed for rent and leased are also down from the same time period in 2013, according to Wilcox. The drop in homes for rent could correlate directly to a drop in foreclosures. Wilcox estimates there were 1,700 foreclosures and distressed sales in July. That compares with a whopping 17,770 in July 2009. The foreclosure wave has come to shore, but the post-recession recovery in home prices is also subsiding. Research from Fiserv Case Shiller shows no growth in Phoenix home prices between the first quarters of 2013 and 2014. In addition, the research also expects only 0.9 percent annualized growth when comparing 2012 prices with what’s expected by 2017. Phoenix home prices dropped more than 52 percent during the recession. Nationally, home prices are expected to grow 3.9 percent by 2017 and increased 5 percent from Q1 2013 to Q1 2014. Part of that stems from slow job gains and population growth. Wilcox shows Arizona’s monthly job growth averaging 2.1 percent so far this year. That’s better than during the recession, but down from 2.8 percent in 2013, 2.6 percent in 2012 and no where near the pre-recession growth. Slower job growth stunts population gains — long key to real estate and economic growth in Phoenix and Tucson.

Mike Sunnucks writes about politics, law, airlines, sports business and the economy.

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