Phoenix Area June Home Sales
The Phoenix region’s median sale price edged higher again last month, rising on a year-over-year basis for the seventh consecutive month to the highest level since late 2008. The number of homes sold fell from both May and a year earlier as foreclosure resales and sub-$150,000 transactions continued to dwindle, a real estate information service reported.
In June, buyers paid a median $152,000 for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the combined Maricopa-Pinal counties metro area. It was the highest for any month since the median was $154,000 in December 2008. Last month’s median rose 1.3 percent from May and rose 23.1 percent from June 2011, according to San Diego-based DataQuick, which tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.
The median's 23.1 percent year-over-year increase in June followed annual gains of 25.0 percent in May, 18.3 percent in April, 13.8 percent in March, and 7.5 percent in each of the prior three months.
Last month’s median sale price stood 42.4 percent below the all-time peak of $264,100 in June 2006, but it was 28.4 percent higher than the median’s post-peak trough of $118,347 in August 2011.
To some extent, the large year-over-year gains in the median sale price in recent months reflect increased pressure on home prices. Ultra-low mortgage have helped trigger more demand at the same time the inventory of homes for sale has fallen sharply.
But there are other reasons the median sale price has posted double-digit annual gains of late. First, in recent months the region’s mid- to high-end markets have represented a substantially larger share of total sales. For example, last month 34.1 percent of all sales were above $200,000, compared with 25.6 percent a year ago. Second, there’s been a substantial drop in the portion of all resales that are foreclosed properties, which tend to carry significant discounts and be concentrated in lower-cost areas. If at some point lenders move more aggressively to clear their backlogs of distressed properties, then the inventory of homes on the market would rise, creating downward pressure on home prices.
Foreclosure resales, defined as homes that were foreclosed on in the prior 12 months, fell to 21.2 percent of the resale market last month – the lowest level for any month since January 2008, when they were 18.6 percent of the resale market. June’s foreclosure resale level fell from 24.3 percent the month before and 49.6 percent a year earlier. The peak level for foreclosure resales was 66.2 percent in March 2009.
Last month a total of 9,556 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the two-county Phoenix region, down 3.4 percent from the month before and down 8.3 percent from a year earlier. On average, June home sales have risen 1.4 percent from May since 1994, when DataQuick’s complete Phoenix region statistics begin.
Total home sales in June were 11.9 percent short of the average number sold that month, mainly because new-home sales remain far below average. Resales of houses and condos combined in June were 0.6 percent higher than the historical average for that month. New-home sales were 56.2 percent below average for a June. However, with demand outstripping supply in some segments of the Phoenix-area resale market, sales of newly built homes have been on an upswing lately. They have risen year-over-year for 12 consecutive months. June’s 1,046 new-home sales rose 31.2 percent from a year ago.
Sales continued to fall hard in the lower price ranges last month. The number of new and resale homes that sold in June for less than $100,000 dropped 40.6 percent from a year earlier, while sub-$150,000 sales fell 26.4 percent. Deals between $200,000 and $400,000 rose 22.5 percent year-over-year, while sales above $500,000 rose 17.0 percent. Sales over $800,000 rose 7.2 percent from a year earlier.
Other Phoenix region June highlights:
- A key price gauge analysts watch, the median price paid per square foot for existing single-family detached houses, rose in June to $84 – the highest since it was the same level in November 2008. Last month’s figure rose 1.2 percent from the month before and increased 25.4 percent from a year earlier. The median paid per square foot has risen year-over-year for seven consecutive months. The June figure stood 50.9 percent below the $171 peak median paid per square foot in May and June of 2006.
- At the county level in June, the median price paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses in Maricopa County rose to $87, up 2.4 percent from the prior month and up 23.5 percent from a year earlier. It was the seventh consecutive month with a year-over-year gain. The Pinal County median paid per square foot was $60 last month, up 1.7 percent from the prior month and up 34.7 percent from a year earlier, marking the ninth consecutive month to see a year-over-year gain.
- Short sales, where the sale price fell short of what was owed on the property, represented an estimated 13.7 percent of last month’s resale activity. That was up from an estimated 12.6 for May and it was down from 14.2 percent a year earlier.
- Lenders foreclosed on 2,087 Phoenix-area houses and condo units last month, down 13.6 percent from the month before and down 56.5 percent from a year earlier. The number of homes lost to foreclosure between January and June this year totaled 14,591, down 54.1 percent from the same period last year.
- Absentee buyers, who are mainly investors and vacation-home buyers, bought 39.3 percent of all Phoenix-area homes sold last month, down from 39.7 percent the month before and down from 44.3 percent a year earlier. The peak was 47.1 percent in March 2011. Last month, absentee buyers paid a median $121,000, down from $122,750 the month before and up 21.0 percent from $100,000 a year earlier.
- About 43 percent of last month’s absentee buyers had mailing addresses outside of Arizona, according to public records. Topping the list of states where these out-of-state investors and second-home buyers came from were California (10 percent), Washington (4 percent), Texas (3 percent), Illinois (3 percent) and Colorado (2 percent). The remaining 35 percent of the Phoenix region’s absentee buyers in June were based in 42 other states.
- Buyers paying cash bought 41.3 percent of all homes sold last month. That was down from 42.5 percent the prior month and up from 40.7 percent a year earlier. The record for cash buying was 48.0 percent in February 2011. Last month’s cash buyers paid a median $120,000, down from $123,500 the month before and up 34.8 percent from $89,000 a year earlier.
- The market share for FHA home loans, a popular choice among first-time buyers, held at a more-than-four-year low. Last month 26.4 percent of all Phoenix-area home purchase loans were government-insured FHA mortgages, the same as in May and down from 34.7 percent a year earlier. Last month’s figure was the lowest since the FHA share of the purchase loan market was 25.3 percent in March 2008.
See the full area chart at DQNews.com
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