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By Jeff Masich | Agent in Scottsdale, AZ

Phoenix Area Home Prices Up 25% from a Year Ago

Phoenix metro area home prices continue their price surge, up 25%, through April 2012 as the supply of homes for sale dwindles.

The Arizona Republic reported on the front page June 1, 2012 in an article by Real Estate writer, Catherine Reagor, http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2012/05/31/20120531phoenix-area-housing-prices-rise.html ,  "Arizona State University's latest real-estate report shows the median home price in the Phoenix area climbed again in April to $140,000 -- 25 percent higher than the year before. Helping push up prices is a limited supply of homes for sale and a growing pool of buyers. If those trends hold, the outlook is for home prices to keep rising, which could be good news for many owners who for years have owed more than their houses have been worth."

What does this mean? Well, good news is on the way for home sellers that have been waiting to put their homes on the market until prices started to return to pre 2006 (real estate down turn) levels. Mortgage rates remain low for home buyers, however with pent up demand, cash buyers are buying most of the homes. Why? Home appraisals are not keeping up with increasing demand and prices for homes. This makes qualifying for a home with a mortgage more difficult for a buyer, unless they can put down a larger down payment.

Buying with a 3.5% FHA down payment and qualifying with a bank's appraisal utilizing older pricing comparables is difficult in the current market.

Ms. Reagor also reported some other interesting market dynamics, "The report (Arizona State University) highlights some significant movements in the market:

Fewer houses for sale: Supply has dwindled as a smaller number of foreclosure homes go up for sale, and the number of homes on the market is at its lowest since the pre-2007 boom. There are about 8,800 houses for sale without a pending contract from a buyer. In 2008, there were more than 50,000. The total number of sales was down, as well, about 12 percent lower than in April 2011.

Declining foreclosures: The number of foreclosures was down 62 percent from a year earlier, to approximately 1,600."

Buyers are feeling they need to act now before the market goes even higher.

Jeff Masich, Realtor
HomeSmart Realty
Scottsdale, Arizona

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