November 13, 2012 (Shirley Allen)
Monthly sales of new and resale homes in the Phoenix area fell for the third time in the last four months according to the latest housing data released from DataQuick while home prices hit their highest level in almost four years..
A total of 7,840 new and existing homes and condos closed escrow in the Maricopa-Pinal counties area in September. Sales were 14.6 percent lower than the 9,179 homes sold in August and were 9.5 percent lower than the 8,661 homes sold in September of 2011.
Sales for the month were expected to be lower because September only had 19 business days compared to a normal month that typically has 21 or 22 business days. However, on a daily basis, homes sales were still 1.2 percent lower than last month.
Home sales in the region typically decline about seven percent between August and September and were 15.6 percent below the average number of homes typically sold for the month.
Cash buyers accounted for 39.6 percent of all purchases in September, down from 40.2 percent in August but up from 39.0 percent a year earlier. The record for cash purchases was in February 2011, when 48 percent of the sales were for cash.
The price that cash buyers paid for their purchases increased to $120,000 in September, which was up from $119,000 in August.
Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 38.6 percent of all homes sold in September, down from 39.7 percent in August. The prices they paid for their purchases increased to $120,000 from $119,000 in August.
The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in September was $155,000, up from $154,119 in August and up from $124,900 in September of last year. It was the tenth consecutive month that home prices have increased year-over-year following 17 months of declines.
The current median price is 41.3 percent below the peak median price of $264,100 in September 2006, however, prices have improved by 31.0 percent since September 2011, when prices in the area reached their post-peak trough of $118,347, and are at their highest level since November of 2008.
Foreclosure sales accounted for 19.0 percent of all re-sales, down from 19.3 percent in August. Foreclosure re-sales peaked in August 2009 at 66.2 percent of all re-sales. Last year at this time, foreclosure re-sales accounted for 44.4 percent of all sales in the Phoenix area.
Tags: Phoenix real estate, existing home sales, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price