Phoenix Real Estate Market is Booming: Multiple Offers within Days, Shortage of Houses for Buyers
"Home prices are surging in metro Phoenix, climbing 8 percent in March alone and 20 percent in the past 12 months. The median price of a house in the region climbed to $134,900, according to a new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
Mike Orr, Director of the Center for Real Estate Theory at ASU, doesn't expect home prices to continue to climb as fast as they did in March over the next few months. But he projects metro Phoenix's housing appreciation for 2012 to reach 25 percent by September. Orr credits the turnaround to steep drops in foreclosures and in the number of homes for sale, coupled with an increase in sales.
Fewer foreclosures means fewer inexpensive homes for buyers. The number of homes taken back by lenders in metro Phoenix is down 60 percent from March 2011. Housing inventory has dropped steadily during the past year because of a record number of investors snapping up properties out of foreclosure. Home sales are up 35 percent from a year ago as more regular buyers have joined investors in the mix.
"Prices have begun to rise at a fast pace, and bargains are no longer plentiful," Orr said. "Most homes that are priced well are attracting multiple offers within a couple of days, and many are exceeding the asking price."
March's price increase was the sixth in a row for Phoenix's housing market. Most real-estate analysts say the streak of rising home prices, along with slower foreclosures, is proof a housing recovery is under way. A growing number of national real-estate analysts say metro Phoenix is leading the U.S.' housing market's recovery.
Foreclosures are down, and so are the sales of lender-owned homes. Since March 2012, the number of foreclosures resold by lenders has plummeted 61 percent. At the same time, regular sales, new-home sales, investor purchases and short sales have climbed. All those types of transactions have higher median prices.
The number of houses on the market across the Phoenix area is down 64 percent from March 2011. Frustrated real-estate agents have buyers ready to sign contracts but can't find houses for them."