October 4, 2012 (Shirley Allen)
Monthly sales of new and resale homes in the Phoenix area returned to the plus column in August after two months of declines according to the latest housing data released from DataQuick while low housing inventory continued to boost home prices.
A total of 9,179 new and existing homes and condos closed escrow in the Maricopa-Pinal counties area in August. Sales were 2.6 percent higher than the 8,949 homes sold in July but were 4.3 percent lower than the 9,594 homes sold in August of 2011.
Home sales in the region typically show little change between July and August and were 8.4 percent below the average number of homes typically sold for the month.
Cash buyers accounted for 40.2 percent of all purchases in August, down from 42.6 percent in July and down from 42.2 percent 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 $119,000 in August, which was up from $117,000 in July.
Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 39.7 percent of all homes sold in August, down from 41.7 percent in July. The prices they paid for their purchases increased to $119,000 from $118,000 in July.
The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in August was $154,119, up from $150,000 in July and up from $118,347 in August of last year. It was the ninth consecutive month that home prices have increased year-over-year following 17 months of declines.
The current median price is 41.6 percent below the peak median price of $264,100 in August 2006, however, prices have improved by 30.2 percent since August 2011, when prices in the area reached their post-peak trough of $118,347, and are at their highest level since December of 2008.
Foreclosure sales accounted for 19.3 percent of all re-sales, down from 19.5 percent in July. Foreclosure re-sales peaked in July 2009 at 66.2 percent of all re-sales. Last year at this time, foreclosure sales accounted for 47.6 percent of all sales in the Phoenix area.
Tags: Phoenix real estate, existing home sales, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price