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Valley housing attracting cash

Valley housing attracting cash

Wednesday August 26, 2009
The Arizona Republic
Catherine Reagor

Half-a-billion dollars in cash was spent on down payments and home purchases in metropolitan Phoenix last month.
That tally doesn’t include mortgages on homes. It’s the pure cash figure buyers spent on existing Valley homes in July, according to Arizona housing analyst RL Brown. In his recent “Phoenix Housing Market Letter,” Brown uses the figure to prove the housing market is showing signs of life after last year’s crash.

“The recovery in metro Phoenix housing is becoming undeniable,” Brown said.

There were 1,108 new Valley home-building permits issued in July, making it the second month since December that permits have climbed above 1,000, according to his report.

Phoenix No. 2 in price decline
Phoenix is not leading the nation in home-prices declines, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index. Las Vegas is No. 1 with a 32.4 percent drop from June 2008 to June 2009. The Valley came in at No. 2 with a 31.6 percent decline. Detroit was No. 3 with a 25 percent drop.

Phoenix has led the index for home-price drops during most of the past six months. However, the Valley’s median home prices started to tick up in late April. Phoenix was one of the 20 cities tracked by the index that saw price declines improve from May to June. Las Vegas and Detroit both experienced bigger decreases in home prices. Overall, U.S. home prices tracked in the 20-city index fell 15.4 percent in June.

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