Community Property Type Price Min Price Max Beds Baths

ASU Releases Monthly Greater Phoenix Housing Report for July 2012

Yesterday, Michael Orr at the W.P. Carey School of Business released his July 2012 Greater Phoenix Housing Report, which includes data from Maricopa and Pinal Counties.

The market continues to evolve and certain trends are clear.  In the Greater Phoenix real estate market, we’re seeing increased investor activity (especially in the lower-priced outlying areas), fewer foreclosure completions, more short sales, rising prices (despite a tiny drop between June-July 2012), and continued tight supply.

Here are some of the more interesting highlights:

  • Priced dipped slightly in both the single family and multi-family segments between June and July (Avg sales price down $6,000/Median down $1,000)
  • Compared to July 2011, median prices are up 31% for single family homes and 17% for Phoenix area condos/townhouses
  • Distressed inventory supply (short sales, foreclosures) is down 69% year-over-year
  • Total supply of Phoenix real estate is down 26%
  • New home sales in the Greater Phoenix area are up 58%
  • “Normal” resales are up 68%
  • Single family unit sales were down about 7.5% in July 2011 vs July 2012 (likely due to limited supply)
Read the full report here.

I want to make a comment about inventory supply.  In the world of economics, most agree that an unemployment rate of around 4% is considered “full employment,” because there’s a certain number of people at any given time who will never work because they don’t want to or face some condition that prevents them from doing so.

I believe the housing market has a similar dynamic.  I don’t pretend to know what a “zero housing level” looks like, I do believe there are a certain number of properties that will always be for sale.  The specific properties themselves will change, but at any given time X percentage of “available” inventory is considered unsellable.  Location, property condition, defects in title, silent marketing, unrealistic seller expectations, Realtors who neglect to update listing status in the MLS, etc., can all contribute to this condition.

I don’t see any options to change this dynamic because it’s tough (impossible?) to isolate the properties that fall into this category, but the implication to real estate buyers (and sellers!) is that your true competition is greater (or less, for sellers) than the inventory numbers might imply.  When Phoenix real estate inventory dips to 10,000, perhaps 10% of that number is actually unsellable…

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