November Phoenix home sales buck seasonal norm: DataQuick
Phoenix-area home sales in November increased 2% from the previous month, a time when sales are usually on the decline, according to real estate data provider MDA DataQuick. There were 7,127 new and existing homes and condos sold during the month. Since 1994, home sales fell an average 7.3% from October to November in Phoenix. But this year's gain shows some buyers are taking advantage of more affordable homes and historically low mortgage rates. Still, Phoenix home sales remain down 16.6% from a year ago, taking median home prices down with it for the fifth consecutive month. Buyers paid a median $127,500 for all new and resold homes in November, down 10.7% from a year ago and down 1% from October. More than 36% of all homes sold for less than $100,000, up from 27% the year before. The Phoenix market peaked in June 2006 when the median home price was $264,100. Prices have fallen more than 51% since. REO sales of homes that had been foreclosed on within the last year accounted for 54.3% of the Phoenix market in November, the highest level since September 2009. Foreclosures, however, dropped 35% from October as banks froze procedures in many states as they corrected affidavits signed en masse and without a proper review of the documentation. So far in 2010, nearly 55,500 homes were lost to foreclosure in Phoenix, up 6.2% from the same period last year. Write to Jon Prior.