Phoenix Business Journal by Jan Buchholz, Reporter
Monday, March 5, 2012
It appears that the housing situation in Phoenix is improving substantially, not just for low-end homes but also for homes priced under $800,000.
Thanks to Fletcher Wilcox of Grand Canyon Title Agency Inc. and Justin Baker of Biltmore Partners Keller Williams Realty, along with their sources the Cromford Report, www.NetValueCentral.com and the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service
Total distressed transfers are down 28 percent in February 2012 compared to February 2011. A distressed title transfer involves a change in ownership either through a foreclosure auction or a short sale. There were 4,428 distressed sales last month as compared with 6,153 a year ago.
Trustee (foreclosure) sales are down, but short sales are up, meaning that banks are willing to negotiate with strapped sellers. In February 2011 there were 5,157 trustee sales as compared with 2,918 in February 2012. That’s a decrease of 43 percent. There were 1,510 short sales last month as compared with 996 a year ago, or a 52 percent increase.
Lenders are allowing more third-party bidders to take ownership of a property at a foreclosure sale because investor demand is high and it’s more expensive for a lender to take back a property for a later sale.
The number of trustee sale notices, which are the first stage of a foreclosure, was down 10 percent from a year ago. There were 3,793 foreclosure notices sent out in February 2012, as compared with 4,224 in February 2011. However, last month’s numbers are 33 percent higher than the 2,846 recorded in January 2012.
There is a severe lack of inventory for homes priced at $200,000 and below. For homes priced at $100,000 or below, the supply is down 63 percent from a year ago. Prices per square foot are up 10.7 percent from last year. For homes priced between $100,000 and $200,000, the supply is down 44 percent from last year. Prices per square foot are up 4.1 percent from a year ago.
In the price range from $200,000 to $400,000 supply is down 25 percent from a year ago. Prices per square foot are up 2.3 percent from a year ago.
In the price range from $400,000 to $800,000 supply is down 14 percent from a year ago. Prices per square foot are up 5.3 percent from a year ago.
Higher end luxury homes listings still suffer even though supply is down 17 percent from last year. The monthly sales rate is 21 percent below last year and prices per square foot are down 8.4 percent.