Has the Real Estate Market Finally Bottomed Out?
Following this CD post from last Saturday "Has the Real Estate Market Finally Bottomed Out?" comes this WSJ article "Rise in Phoenix Housing Shows Path for Other Cities":
"As home prices continue to drop in most cities, a nascent real-estate rebound here holds lessons for the rest of the country. This sprawling desert metropolis was one of the hardest hit housing markets during the bust. Phoenix home prices declined 55% from 2006 through the end of 2011, and Arizona's foreclosure rate jumped to No. 3 in the nation in 2009. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners are underwater, meaning they owe more than their homes are worth.
"Now real-estate economists across the country are studying an early but surprisingly broad Phoenix turnaround. The sharp drop in home prices has brought new buyers into the market. Unlike other markets where housing recoveries have been snuffed out by big overhangs of homes for sale and foreclosed properties, inventories are lean here.
"Phoenix has hit a bottom," says Thomas Lawler, an independent housing economist who was one of the first to warn six years ago that prices in overbuilt metros were poised to fall.
The nation's hard-hit housing markets face a tough act: engineering a housing recovery without traditional trade-up buyers, many of whom are either unwilling or unable to sell because of huge price declines.
Phoenix has found a viable formula. Low prices are igniting demand from first-time buyers and investors who are converting the homes to rentals. The local economy is on the upswing with several big employers like Amazon.com Inc. and Intel Corp. hiring again, which is further increasing demand for housing. And the region is benefiting from a surge of buyers from Canada who are using their favorable exchange rate to scoop up bargains in the desert."