Home/Mortgages/Home Sales in Phoenix Showing Stability

October 31, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home sales were down in the Phoenix area in September due to weak new home sales but existing home sales were at their second highest level in six years while home prices also showed improvement according to the latest data released from DataQuick.

A total of 8,661 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Maricopa-Pinal counties area in September. Sales were 9.7 percent lower than the 9,657 homes sold in August but still 17.7 percent higher than the number of homes sold in September of 2010.

Home sales typically decline 6.6 percent between August and September and were 7.6 percent below the average number of homes typically sold in September.

New homes sales continue to be almost non-existent with only 858 new homes sold in September. Existing home sales were actually quite robust with 7,803 re-sale transactions completed which was 25.3 percent above average for a typical September and the second highest amount of re-sales since 2005.

Cash buyers accounted for 39.8 percent of all purchases in September, which was down from 42.4 percent in August but up from 38.9 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 $88,000 in September, which was up from $85,000 in August, but down from $94,000 in September 2010.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 42.6 percent of all homes sold in September, down from 44.0 percent in August and they paid a median average price of $100,000 during the month, up from $96,000 in August.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in September was $124,500, which was up from $118,000 in August, but still 4.2 percent below September of last year.

The current median price is 52.9 percent below the peak median price of $264,100 in June 2006 and has fallen year-over-year for the last 15 consecutive months. However, September’s median price was the highest posted in 2011 and the year-over-year price gap was the smallest in the area since the 3.7 percent price difference in August 2010.

Distressed sales represented 61.2 percent of the re-sale market in September, down slightly from 61.5 in August, as foreclosure sales accounted for 44.4 percent of all re-sales, down from 47.6 in August, and short sales accounted for 16.8 percent of all re-sales, up from 13.9 in August.

Foreclosures declined 22.7 percent from August to September and were down 44.0 percent from September of 2010.

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