Real Estate

Phoenix foreclosure sales at lowest level since January 2008

Foreclosure resales fell to 21.2% of total sales in Phoenix, the lowest percentage since January 2008, helping to push prices up for the 17th month in a row, reported DataQuick on Friday.

June’s foreclosure resale level dropped from 24.3% in May and 49.6% in June of 2011. In recent months the region’s mid- to high-end markets have represented a much larger share of all sales. Last month 34.1% of all sales were over $200,000, compared to 25.6% a year ago.

“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,” read the report.

Buyers paid a median $152,000 for all new and resale houses and condos in June, closing in on the $154,000 mark set in December 2008. It was a 1.3% increase from May and a 23.1% year over year increase. The increase followed annual gains of 25% in May, 18.3% in April, 13.8% in March and 7.5% in each of the prior three months.

The large gains in the median sale price recently reflect increased pressure on home prices as low mortgage rates pushed up demand at the same time as inventory is dropping. The number of homes sold fell from both May and a year earlier as foreclosure resales and transactions below $150,000 continued to decline.

Total home sales in June were 11.9% short of the average number sold that month, largely because new-home sales continue to be far below normal, coming in 53.2% below average for the month. Resales of houses and condos combined in June were 0.6% higher than the historical average for that month.

However, with demand outpacing supply in some parts of the Phoenix resale market, sales of newly built homes have been on a recent upswing, rising year-over-year for 12 consecutive months. June new-home sales rose 31.2% from a year ago.

Last month, 9,556 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in Phoenix, down 3.4% from the month before and down 8.3% from a year ago. On average, home sales for June rose 1.4% from May since 1994 when DataQuick’s complete Phoenix region statistics began.

Sales for less than $100,000 continued to fall drastically in June, dropping 40.6% from a year earlier. Sales below $150,000 fell 26.4%. Sales in higher price ranges fared better, with those between $200,000 and $400,000 rising 22.5% year over year, while sales over $500,000 rose 17% and those over $800,000 rose $7.2%.

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