Saturday, October 27, 2012

Behind the data: Housing

Many metro Phoenix homeowners will be happy to see the latest Valley Home Values special report in Sunday’s Arizona Republic. It’s more solid proof the area’s housing market is recovering. The information also might spur more buyers to purchase a house before prices climb higher.

The twice-a-year report, which I helped launch in 1997, has evolved with the sophistication of Phoenix’s housing market. This region has some of the best real-estate data in the country. Home sales and foreclosures are all public record, so it’s possible to find out quickly what’s happening.

Arizona’s housing market is one of its biggest, most important economic drivers. Providing the best coverage for our readers requires the best data.

Many real-estate-data research groups, locally and nationally, offer insight and numbers into metro Phoenix’s housing market. The Information Market, which was recently purchased by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, has been the data source for Valley Home Values since the report’s inception.

Several other entities, including Arizona State University, the Phoenix Housing Market Letter, the Cromford Report,, Belfiore Consulting, ARMLS and the National Association of Realtors, are also great sources for our reporting.

In addition, many individuals in the Valley’s real-estate industry track their own numbers.

We rely less on S&P Case Shiller’s national home price because it lags a few months. But the index serves as an important national indicator and reliable home-sales information for states that don’t require real-estate transactions to be made public.

In Arizona, foreclosures are a tricky real-estate transaction to track. They involve both notices of trustee sales and trustee sales. Both can be canceled and refiled, often making it difficult to get accurate overall counts.

In preparing this special report, I enjoyed researching and writing about the upbeat trends for the market and for homesellers, especially after the tough times the market has seen since 2007.

Read more: Behind the data: Housing

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