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Phoenix Home Sales Volume Continues to Improve

Phoenix Home Sales Volume Continues to Improve

Housing Wire

February 4th, 2010

Home sales in Phoenix hit the highest level in four years for the month of December and total home sales increased on a year-over-year basis for 12 consecutive months, according to MDA DataQuick.

A total of 8,826 new and resale houses and condos sold in the Phoenix area in December 2009, up 3.3% from November and up 30.5% from December 2008. It is normal for sales to increase between November and December, but 2009’s increase was less than the 15-year average of a 10% increase. December’s total is the highest for the month since 2006, 11,341 homes sold.

December marks the 12th consecutive month that total home sales have increased year-over-year and the 18th month that existing home sales have increased on the same basis.
Total resale transactions were 7,750, up 8.9% from November and up 42% from last year. New home sales dropped 25% from November’s rate and were also down 17.5% from December 2008. Builders are facing stiff competition from the foreclosure inventory on the Phoenix market and sold least number of homes for a December since 1997. New home sales accounted for 12.2% of all December sales, down from November’s share of 16.7% and the market’s 15-year average of 25%.

Properties foreclosed on in the past 12 months accounted for 52.2% of all transactions in December. That’s even from November’s rate, which ended an eight-month-long run of declines, but better than December 2008’s 61.9% foreclosure share. Foreclosure resales peaked in March 2009, when foreclosure properties accounted for 66.2% of all resales.

The median price paid in December for all new and resale houses and condos was $136,500, down 4.3% from $142,700 in November and down 11.4% from $154,000 last year. The median price peaked in June 2006 at $264,100. It’s the 35th consecutive month of declining annual median prices, but December’s year-over-year decline in median price was the smallest since December 2007, when the median fell 10.9 percent below the prior year to $230,000.

The December median price for resale single-family detached houses declined to $132,750 from $135,000 in November. The median price for resale condos decreased to $94,750, down from $103,000 in November and down 28.7 percent from a year earlier.

In December, 45.3% of all Phoenix-area home purchase loans were government-insured Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages. Absentee buyers — primarily investors, but anyone who indicates at the time of sale the property tax bill will go to a different address — took a 38.5% share of all sales, up from 35.3% in November and 36.2% last year.

Cash buyers, or sales with no indication of a purchase loan recorded at the time of sale, accounted for 37% of all December sales, DataQuick said.

December foreclosure activity shot up 41.5% from November and 39.4% from last year. There were 6,072 single-family houses and condos that went into foreclosure in the month. DataQuick said in H209.

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