Home/Mortgages/Home Prices Improve in Phoenix -Yearly Price Difference Lowest in 17 Months

January 10, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home sales in the Phoenix area followed seasonal trends and declined in November, but beat the previous year’s sales for the 12th consecutive month according to the latest housing data released from DataQuick. Home prices showed improvement, pushing the year-over-year difference in home prices to its lowest level in 17 months.

A total of 7,766 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Maricopa-Pinal counties area in November. Sales were 3.5 percent lower than the 8,051 homes sold in October but were still 9.0 percent higher than the number of homes sold in November of 2010.

Home sales typically decline 7.1 percent between October and November and were 10.2 percent below the average number of homes typically sold in November.

New homes sales continue to be almost non-existent with only 854 new homes sold in November. Existing home sales continued to make a good showing with 6,912 re-sale transactions completed which was 7.7 percent above average for a typical November and the highest amount of re-sales for the month since 2009.

Cash buyers accounted for 40.8 percent of all purchases in November, which was up slightly from 39.7 percent in October and up from 40.3 percent from a year earlier. The record for cash purchases was in February 2011, when 48 percent of the sales were for cash.

The price that cash buyers paid for their purchases increased to $96,000 in November, which was up slightly from $88,500 in October and $95,000 in November of 2010.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 43.4 percent of all homes sold in November, down slightly from 44.0 percent in October and they paid a median average price of $103,000 during the month, which was up from $100,000 in October and $102,000 a year ago.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in November was $127,000, up from $120,000 in October and only 0.4 percent below November of last year.

The current median price is 51.9 percent below the peak median price of $264,100 in June 2006 and has fallen year-over-year for the last 17 consecutive months, but the 0.4 percent difference in the year-over-year median price in November has been the smallest posted during that time.

Distressed sales accounted for 54.4 percent of the re-sale market in November, down from 59.2 percent in October, with foreclosure sales accounting for 43.0 percent of all re-sales, unchanged from October, and short sales accounting for 15.9 percent of all re-sales, down from 16.2 percent in October. Distressed property sales were at their lowest level since May 2008.

Foreclosures increased 16.2 percent from October to November and were also up 9.5 percent from November of 2010. Year-to-date, lenders have foreclosed on 11.8 percent less homes in 2011 than they did during the same period in 2010.

Tags: existing home sales, Phoenix, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price