August 24, 2011 (Shirley Allen)
Existing home sales in the Phoenix area cooled off in July after a robust June but sales were still substantially higher than in July of last year when home sales posted a dramatic drop following the end of the home buyer tax credit according to real estate information provider DataQuick.
A total of 9,050 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the Maricopa-Pinal counties area in July. Sales were 13.2 percent lower than the 10,537 homes sold in June, but 18.9 percent higher than the amount of homes sold in July of 2010.
Existing home sales typically drop 7.1 percent between June and July.
New home sales continued to be the weak link, accounting for only 648 of the total sales, down from 796 new home sales in June and the second lowest level of new home sales for a July in 14 years.
Existing single-family detached homes and condos made up 8,402 of the total sales last month, 20.6 percent more than last year and 8.7 percent higher than the average for July. It was the second highest amount of existing homes sold for a July since 2005, only surpassed by July of 2009.
Cash buyers were responsible for 40.3 percent of the purchases in July, which was down slightly from 40.6 percent in June, but up from 37.6 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 are paying continues to decline as the median price paid by a cash buyer in July was $86,000, which is down from $88,700 in June and down from $100,000 in July 2010.
Absentee buyers, usually investors and vacation home buyers, accounted for 45.4 percent of all homes sold in July and they paid a median average price of $98,010 during the month, down from $100,00 in June.
The overall median price paid for new and resale homes and condos in July was $120,000, which was down from $122,900 in June and 9.1 percent below July of last year.
The current median price is 54.6 percent below the peak median price of $264,100 in July 2006 and has fallen year-over-year for the last 14 consecutive months.
Distressed sales represented 63.8 percent of the resale market in July as foreclosures accounted for 49.8 percent of the distressed sales and short sales accounted for 14.0 percent of the distressed sales.
Foreclosures fell sharply in July, declining 22.3 percent from June. Foreclosures were down 34.6 percent from July of 2010.
Tags: DataQuick, existing home sales, Phoenix, distressed properties, resale homes, condos, cash buyers, investors, median price