Sunday, May 26, 2013

Analyst offers his view of housing market

Tom Ruff has been tracking metro Phoenix’s housing market through daily analysis of property records and discussions — sometimes heated — with the real-estate industry’s top agents and executives since the 1980s.

Ruff, an analyst with the Information Market, a data provider owned by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, answered three questions for The Arizona Republic.

Question: Where do you see home prices heading?

Answer: In today’s Phoenix housing market, there is an imbalance between supply and demand. During the past three years, much of the available housing supply has come from bank foreclosures. In April, only 500 homes were foreclosed on and reverted to the bank. The banks will no longer be able to bolster the supply necessary to meet current demand.

This leads us to question where the necessary supply is going to come from. The logical response would be the builders. However, April’s numbers show that there were only 750 newly constructed homes sold in Maricopa County, making it clear the builders will not be able to fill the gap anytime soon. A 10 percent increase in home prices during the next year would not be unreasonable; in fact, it would most likely be a conservative estimate.

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