Much of Phoenix is no longer underwater

In the Phoenix-metro area, many homeowners have been stagnant for the past five years. Although they hoped to sell, in fear of losing a significant chunk of money, they have stayed put, which created a slow-moving, uphill battle in the market. Fortunately, homes for sale in Phoenix has posted some of the most impressive increases in value, and fewer homeowners are now facing foreclosures.

According to The Arizona Republic, those who have sold their homes in the past few years have not made a huge profit in general, but the median home value in the area has increased by 35 percent. People who have been living in their homes for an extended amount of time have found that moving is now becoming an option. Right now, the low inventory is causing an increase in prices, but foreclosed and short-sale properties on the market is keeping median home values lower than pre-recession times.

In the past few years, a high number of homeowners purchased properties at the height of the boom, putting them underwater on their mortgages when the market plummeted. However, less people are underwater, and the median price of a regular home rose to $185,000 in August. Some experts are optimistic about the future of housing in Phoenix.

For a full recovery, the nearly 60 percent of homeowners who were left underwater on their mortgages in 2009 need to regain control. New data suggests that the number has been roughly cut in half, partly because of the increase in demand for homes by investors. Many people are looking for homes closer to work or school, and has home prices and sales continue to climb it is becoming more possible for homeowners to sell.

"I would say that in the next five to seven years, we will see (home) prices back to levels we saw in 2005," real estate expert Matt Widdows told The Associated Press. "Many homes dropped to one-third of their value in 2005, and I have no doubt that we will be right back to those levels."

According to Widdows, he expects home values to rise more than 10 percent annually in the next three years. In May 2005, the median home price in Phoenix was $228,000, and Widdows and fellow real estate expert Elliott Pollack believe in the next four years price will reach $225,000.