Home/Mortgages/Phoenix Home Sales Up 15 Percent Over Last Year

December 5, 2011 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly home sales declined in the Phoenix area in October but were still well above last year’s levels according to the latest data released from DataQuick. Despite the big gain in year-over-year sales, annual median sales prices declined for the 16th consecutive month.

A total of 8,051 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Maricopa-Pinal counties area in October. Sales were 7.0 percent lower than the 8,661 homes sold in September but were still 15.2 percent higher than the number of homes sold in October of 2010.

Home sales typically decline 0.8 percent between September and October and were 13.5 percent below the average number of homes typically sold in October.

New homes sales continue to be almost non-existent with only 669 new homes sold in October. Existing home sales continued to make a good showing with 7,382 re-sale transactions completed which was 5.5 percent above average for a typical October and the second highest amount of re-sales for the month since 2009.

Cash buyers accounted for 39.7 percent of all purchases in October, which was down slightly from 39.8 percent in September and up from 39.5 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 $88,500 in October, which was up slightly from $88,000 in both September and October of 2010.

Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 44.0 percent of all homes sold in October, up from 42.6 percent in September and they paid a median average price of $100,000 during the month, which was the same price they paid in September but down from $105,000 a year ago.

The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in October was $120,000, which was down from $124,500 in September and 4.2 percent below October of last year.

The current median price is 54.6 percent below the peak median price of $264,100 in June 2006 and has fallen year-over-year for the last 16 consecutive months.

Distressed sales accounted for 59.2 percent of the re-sale market in October, down from 61.2 percent in September with foreclosure sales accounting for 43.0 percent of all re-sales, down from 44.4 percent in September, and with short sales accounting for 16.2 percent of all re-sales, down from 16.8 percent in September.

Foreclosures declined 9.7 percent from September to October and were down 39.0 percent from October of 2010. The 2,845 homes foreclosed on in October were the lowest amount since March 2008.

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