Sunday, April 8, 2012

Housing takes a few baby steps forward

Naysayers of metro Phoenix's housing-market recovery might be swayed by this:

The median price of an existing home in the region climbed 7 percent during March.

Last month, the median price of a Phoenix-area used home reached $131,000, according the real-estate firm AZBidder.

That's the highest the median for the area has been since June 2010.

A little more positive data. In March, 9,587 houses were sold across the region. That's the highest level since June 2009.

The number of homes for sale continues to shrink.

There are 21,750 houses on the market Valley-wide, according to the Cromford Report.

But that figure includes 7,700 homes that are already under contract for a sale.

Minority bias alleged

The National Fair Housing Alliance investigated nine metro areas, including metro Phoenix, to determine if foreclosure properties in Black and Latino neighborhoods were being maintained and marketed by lenders as well as foreclosures in predominately White neighborhoods. Its report was released earlier this week.

In the Valley, the housing group compared fewer than 200 foreclosure homes in Glendale and Maryvale. The investigation found 40 percent of the bank-owned homes in Maryvale, which it considered predominately Latino, had broken doors.

Only 6 percent of the bank-owned houses that the group checked out in the neighborhood in Glendale, which it considered predominately a White community, had broken doors.

About 73 percent of the foreclosure homes in the west Phoenix community didn't have "for sale" signs.

And 11 percent of those Glendale foreclosure home were missing those signs.

The investigation was a random sampling, and the Housing Alliance would not disclose what ZIP codes the homes it tracked were in or which lenders were the worst offenders.

But the report does address a problem for most major cities with higher foreclosure rates.

The Housing Alliance plans to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the next week accusing the lenders of violating the nation's Fair Housing Act.

by Catherine Reagor - Apr. 6, 2012 03:31 PM The Republic |

Housing takes a few baby steps forward

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