Saturday, May 1, 2010

Expert: Housing prices in Valley flat

by J. Craig Anderson - Apr. 28, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

If you want to know what's happening with Phoenix home prices now and in the near future, think "pancake," according to Arizona State University professor Karl Guntermann.

"Median prices are really pretty flat," said Guntermann, a real-estate professor at ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business, adding that he doesn't expect anything different for the rest of this year.

For the past 12 months, Guntermann's analysis has indicated a narrowing gap in year-over-year median home-price changes that began in April 2009, when the median price was a distressing 35 percent lower than it had been in April 2008.

Fast forward to March, and that year-over-year gap had narrowed to a 3 percent decline, based on preliminary data.

Guntermann publishes a monthly housing-market indicator known as the ASU Repeat Sales Index, which rises and falls based on a number of factors, including changes in the market value of homes that have sold multiple times in recent years.

Identical to the widely quoted S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index in its approach, the ASU index has been tracking home prices since 1990.

For the past 12 months, the ASU index has been in negative territory but struggling toward zero at a rate of 2 percent to 4 percent a month.

In January, the Valley's median-home price was about 9 percent lower than it had been a year earlier. Guntermann said his preliminary data show a 7 percent decline in February and a 3 percent decline in March.

At the housing market's low end, the year-over-year median-price change for sales of recently foreclosed homes in March edged upward to a positive 5 percent, after being down 2 percent in February.

Among home sales that excluded all recent foreclosures, the gap was considerably more. The median price for non-foreclosure sales in March was down 14 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 19 percent decrease in February.

Expert: Housing prices in Valley flat

Posted using ShareThis

Real Estate News

HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard