Phoenix housing market improving in spring 2012

According to both national and local real estate figures, the housing market in Phoenix is drastically improving. Houses for sale in Phoenix are achieving higher market values and being sold at an increased rate. In addition, distressing signs such as an over-inflated inventory are declining.

"Supply is tight in a pretty extreme way, and it looks likely to stay that way for months," Michael Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W.P. Carey School, told the Phoenix Business Journal.

"One thing that could slow this down is appraisals," Orr said. "That’s because appraisers are still looking at prices from up to three months ago, and they may be reluctant to write appraisals that match the now-higher market value."

A few indicators of the improving real estate market in Phoenix:
Foreclosure resales fell a significant amount for the month of March due to a decreased number of homes in distress in the local market. Lenders foreclosed on 2,387 Phoenix-area properties in March, down an estimated 6.9 percent from the month before and an entire 60.2 percent from the previous year, according to DataQuick. What's more, CoreLogic showed the Phoenix foreclosure rate fell below the national average of 3.43 percent.

For the first quarter of 2012, there were 7,900 foreclosures – down 53.2 percent from the same period last year. This has led to a decrease in the resale of distressed homes, including foreclosures and short sales. The sale of homes foreclosed on in the past 12 months fell to 31.8 percent of March sales, the lowest level the Phoenix real estate market has seen since April 2008. While short sales represented about 13.3 percent of the March resale activity, a decrease from the 15.6 percent experienced in February 2012, the number was up 12.5 percent from last year. In addition to the decline of negative real estate indicators in the greater Phoenix-metro area, there were improvements in both home values and property sales.

According to the Phoenix Business Journal, the median price for a single-family home went up from $115,000 in February 2011 to $124,500 in February 2012 – an 8.3 percent increase. DataQuick found the average price for a single-family home sale in March 2012 was $135,900 – another increase in the improving market value of local properties. Consider checking out the MLS listings in Phoenix for a home that experts predict will improve in value in the upcoming year.