Sunday, December 18, 2011

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Scottsdale's median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies.

As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011.

Throw out the high and low prices of August and September and Scottsdale's average monthly median price was $342,797 through November.

• Scottsdale home, condo prices through the year

For most of the year, the monthly median prices were down year-over-year from 1 percent to 10 percent. Only September and November recorded price increases of 3.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

"All of the numbers are encouraging," said Jeffrey Smith, West USA Realty vice president.

The inventory of houses is about 19,300 homes in Maricopa County, down from 54,000 less than two years ago, he said.

"There is demand for housing even though the demand is on vacation right now" until after the first of the year, Smith said.

Good homes, priced right are selling quickly in Scottsdale, he said.
Foreclosures a factor

Foreclosures are still a drag on the Scottsdale housing market but that could be changing.

In January, 29 percent of home sales were foreclosures and by November that declined to 16 percent, a low for the year.

That is far below the foreclosure figure for Maricopa County, which was 29 percent in November. The median home price countywide last month was $126,000, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Jay Butler, ASU business professor emeritus, said another surge of foreclosures is possible in the spring if low consumer confidence prompts more people to give up on their homes.

"However, the key issue in the coming year will be whether investors become less of a factor and the homeowner-occupant market begins to improve," said Butler, author of ASU's monthly report on resale homes.

ASU tracks resale home prices, total sales and foreclosures in a monthly report. The latest report was released this week. The median price is the midpoint of all the sales.
Home sales on rise

Scottsdale home sales through November were 5,810, up 5 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Previously foreclosed houses accounted for 40 percent of sales countywide in November and were 18 percent of sales in north Scottsdale.

Scottsdale's median price for condominium and townhouse sales in November was $125,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.

Condo prices started the year at $146,825, dipped to $115,250 in August and declined every month year-over-year except for September, which saw a 5 percent jump in prices.

Foreclosures accounted for a third of the condo sales in January and February but fell to 18 percent in November, the lowest figures this year.

Buyers purchased 3,214 condos through November, down 6 percent from 2010.

The median price of condo foreclosure sales in Scottsdale last month was $98,450. That is the first time the price has fallen below $100,000 in recent years.

Maricopa County's median price for condos and townhouses was $80,825 in November, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Dec. 16, 2011 08:58 AM

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

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