May 12, 2010

Phoenix-area Housing Prices Up 5.5% This Year

Number of Foreclosures Still High

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Debbie Freeman

Phoenix-area Housing Prices Up 5.5% This Year
Number of Foreclosures Still High

TEMPE, Ariz. — Phoenix-area housing prices have consistently gone up every month this year, despite tough economic times. The latest Realty Studies report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University confirms the median single-family home price in the Valley has steadily increased. However, it’s unclear whether the momentum will continue.

The median price has gone up almost 5.5 percent from $136,500 in January to $144,000 in April. Still, Associate Professor of Real Estate Jay Butler, who authored the new report, points to contradictions in the market.

“Several factors contributed to this increase, including the normal seasonal price hike that happens every spring and also less discounted prices being offered on foreclosed properties for resale,” Butler says. “On the positive side, the recent improvement in home prices does provide evidence of short-term appreciation, and it has also further enhanced the interest of investors in the local housing market.”

But, Butler adds, bargain hunters, short sales and the high number of foreclosures are still driving the market overall.

“Even though foreclosures as a share of recorded activity in the Phoenix-area housing market declined from 40 percent in March to 34 percent in April, this was still one of the highest levels of foreclosure activity in the last year,” he says. “The surge could be related to the end of foreclosure moratoriums put in place in late 2009 and the still-weak economy.”

Almost 3,500 homes were foreclosed on in April, way up from about 2,500 foreclosures last April. However, it is an improvement from March’s nearly 4,400 foreclosures. Foreclosures combined with the resales of previously foreclosed properties still account for 60 percent of the Valley’s single-family home market activity.

The number of homes resold in the Phoenix market in April remained relatively high at about 6,800. In March, about 6,500 homes were sold. Last April, just over 6,600 were sold.

In the townhouse/condominium market, foreclosure levels are much higher than last year. About 1,100 townhomes and condos were foreclosed on each month in March and April of this year. Last April, less than 700 townhomes and condos went into foreclosure. The median townhome/condo price has plummeted from $116,500 last April to just $95,000 this April.

Butler’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at More analysis is also available from Knowledge@W. P. Carey, the business school’s online resource and biweekly newsletter, at

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is one of the top-ranked and largest business schools in the United States. The school is internationally regarded for its research productivity and its distinguished faculty members, including a Nobel Prize winner. Students come from 75 countries and include more than 60 National Merit Scholars. For more information, please visit and