With the $8,000 home buyer stimulus gone, it should not come as a surprise that things are looking tough for the Phoenix market again. As Jay Butler of ASU Realty studies explains, most of the action is with foreclosures:
“Foreclosures accounted for 45 percent of the existing-home market activity in August,” says Associate Professor of Real Estate Jay Butler, who authored the report. “When you add in resales of previously foreclosed-on homes, all of this foreclosure-related activity represents a full two-thirds of the market’s transactions in August.”
About 4,000 foreclosures were recorded in Maricopa County in August. That’s slightly up from about 3,900 foreclosures in July, but way up from last August’s total of about 3,100.
Following the traditional pattern, home sales cooled off slightly from July’s 5080 in sales to 4800 in August. Sales are down 20% YOY however, and are approaching the lows set back in 2007 and 2008.
I prefer to use Butler’s sales numbers rather than the MLS numbers as I believe them to be more accurate than the data from ARMLS. Butler however only looks at sales, so for inventory numbers, we have to go back to ARMLS. According to ARMLS, there were 44307 properties for sale at the end of August. (Total, not just single family, which was 35, 974 units) Using the ARMLS total sales figure of 5354 units, that’s an 8.3 month supply- up from 6 months in July. This is the highest figure since February 2009.
So sales down are down and inventory is up. Where does that leave home prices? You guessed it- headed down again. If you want to see what the double dip looks like, here’s the home price appreciation (depreciation) graph. After seven months of “appreciation”, the median price is headed down again. The median home price for the Phoenix area was $135,000, the lowest it’s been since July 2009.
We are not yet “dancing on the bottom”. The dance floor is going to be slippery for awhile longer.