Phoenix Area November Home Sales
Sales of existing houses and condos in the Phoenix area rose to the highest level for a November in seven years, while the median price paid for all homes sold in the region was the highest in more than four years, a real estate information service reported.
Buyers paid a median $167,500 for all new and resale houses and condos sold during November in the combined Maricopa-Pinal counties metro area – the highest level since the median was $175,000 in October 2008. The November median rose 4.7 percent from October and rose 31.9 percent from November 2011. It was the median's 12th consecutive month with a year-over-year gain, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, which tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.
The November median was 39.4 percent below the Phoenix area's all-time peak of $264,100 in June 2006, but it was 41.5 percent higher than the median’s post-peak trough of $118,347 in August 2011.
The relatively large year-over-year gains in the region's median sale price since March – ranging from 13.8 percent to 32.2 percent – reflect several trends. Prices have risen as greater demand has met a relatively low supply of homes for sale. But the median has also been pushed higher by a big shift in the types of homes selling this year compared with last. More homes selling today are higher-cost move-up homes and fewer are lower-cost foreclosed properties.
If lenders eventually move more aggressively to clear backlogs of distressed properties, then the inventory of homes on the market would rise, putting downward pressure on home prices. Regardless, if demand remains high and prices continue to rise, the market will eventually respond with a larger supply of homes for sale, which would tame price appreciation. More would-be sellers who've been reluctant to put their homes on the market will try to sell. Fewer people will owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, enabling them to sell. There will be more sales of newly built homes, which in November rose 25.9 percent from a year earlier, to the highest level for a November since 2009.
The continuing decline in the number of lender-repossessed properties on the market this year helps explain the smaller inventory of homes for sale. Foreclosure resales, defined as homes that were foreclosed on in the prior 12 months, fell to 17.2 percent of all the homes that resold in November. That was the lowest level for any month since December 2007, when foreclosure resales were 15.3 percent of the resale market. November’s foreclosure resale level was down from 19.0 percent the month before and 43.0 percent a year earlier. At their peak in March 2009, foreclosure resales represented 66.2 percent of all the homes sold in the Phoenix area.
Last month a total of 8,525 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the two-county Phoenix region, down 3.8 percent from the month before and up 9.8 percent from a year earlier. The last time total sales for the month of November were higher was in 2009, when 8,544 new and resale houses and condos sold. However, the number of houses and condos that resold (excludes new homes) this November was the highest for any November since 2005.
On average, the number of homes sold in the month of November has been 7.0 percent lower than in the month of October since 1994, when DataQuick’s complete Phoenix region statistics begin.
Last month's total sales were 1.3 percent below average for the month of November since 1994. Resales of houses and condos combined were 15.2 percent above the historical average for November. Sales of newly built homes were 50.5 percent below average for a November.
Sales continued to fall off in the Phoenix-area’s lowest price ranges during November, while the middle and upper-price categories posted big gains again. The number of new and resale homes sold in November for less than $100,000 dropped 40.9 percent from a year earlier, while sub-$150,000 sales fell 20.1 percent. Deals between $200,000 and $400,000 rose 79.3 percent year-over-year, while $300,000-plus transactions shot up 78.5 percent year-over-year and sales above $500,000 rose 12.8 percent. The number of homes selling for $800,000 or more rose 35.3 percent from the same month last year.
Other Phoenix region November highlights: