Sunday, October 9, 2011

Recent data on housing show things looking up

"One month doesn't make a trend" is a favorite comment among economists and housing analysts. Let's hope that theory applies to August housing numbers for metro Phoenix.

In August, foreclosures climbed and home prices slipped to their lowest level this year. But data for September show foreclosures fell significantly in the region, and the median home price ticked back up.

Last month, there were 2,689 foreclosures in Maricopa County, 710 fewer than in August, according to real-estate research firm Information Market.

Pre-foreclosures, or notices of trustee sale, fell by 770, to 4,335, in September. This drop is a strong signal that foreclosures will drop again in the next few months.

The median price of a resale home in metro Phoenix quietly dipped in August, falling from the $115,000 it had been holding steady at for most of this year to $112,200.

The median had climbed to $118,900 in June, when home sales nearly reached a record, but fell back to $115,000 in July.

But the latest data crunched Tuesday show the region's median home price has rebounded to $116,500, its second-highest level this year.

These numbers by no means signal a rebound or even an overly optimistic forecast for the housing market during the rest of 2011.

But Phoenix's important housing indicators once again are headed in the right direction.

The trend must continue for many more months before the area's housing market can be categorized in recovery mode. It certainly isn't there yet.

"September numbers are good across the board, with prices finally making the turn from the bottom," said Tom Ruff, an analyst with Information Market. "We believe we have come off the bottom."

He said the naysayers will continue to disagree and criticize any positive look at the housing market, but the right numbers are heading in the right direction.

Housing expert is back

The former director of the Arizona Housing Department, Fred Karnas, is returning to Phoenix.

He resigned in early 2009 to become a senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C.

Karnas, who was in Phoenix a few weeks ago to talk about federal housing issues at the state housing agency's annual conference, has been named president of St. Luke's Health Initiatives.

by Catherine Reagor, columnist The Arizona Republic Oct. 5, 2011 12:00 AM

Recent data on housing show things looking up

Real Estate News

HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard