WHERE ARE WE NOW AND WHERE ARE WE GOING?
The housing market’s recovery has picked up steam in almost every neighborhood across metropolitan Phoenix. Three-fourths of all the region’s ZIP codes saw home values climb during 2012, the rest have been catching up the 1st quarter of this year. Most of those jumps were in double-digit percentages and the market continues to soar with almost 7% increase just in the last 30 days in some areas.
At least 20 ZIP codes posted jumps of more than 25 percent.
Most parts of metro Phoenix haven’t recorded home-price increases since 2007, when the crash was beginning.
Helping boost home prices has been a huge drop in the number of inexpensive foreclosure resales. Now, only 11 percent of all sales in the region are homes taken back by lenders for resale, compared with 50 percent last year.
Housing prices haven’t quite returned to the boom-period highs, but in some areas, prices have recovered to levels not seen since 2003.
The housing recovery is expected to continue throughout the year as long as there are enough buyers and sellers.
Now is the time to start thinking about upgrading or downgrading and selling with the right Realtor. There has never been a better time to buy with prices and rates as low as they are today. We probably won't see this combination again in our lifetime.
Here are some snapshots of price and sales trends in different areas of metro Phoenix:
The Mesa ZIP code 85207, near Superstition Air Park, posted the biggest price increase in the area last year, at 34 percent. Loop 202 bisects the southeast neighborhood, making it more accessible to residents.
More than half of all the new homes to go up in metro Phoenix this year have been in southeast Valley cities Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek. Higher-priced new homes are driving up the communities’ overall median home prices.
Foreclosure resales have also fallen dramatically in the southeast Valley. Less than 5 percent of all sales in Chandler/Sun Lakes are homes being resold by lenders.
Central Phoenix neighborhoods had some of the highest price increases.
ZIP code 85015, along the east side of Interstate 17 between Northern Avenue and Camelback Road, posted the biggest median-price increase so far this year: 45 percent. The area, near he northernmost leg of the light-rail line, has been undergoing redevelopment and attracting homeowners looking for affordable houses..
There are 15 Phoenix ZIP codes, ranging from the north to downtown that saw prices increase more than 26 percent in 2012.
Foreclosure resales fell in most Phoenix neighborhoods, helping boost prices. Investors who bought up many foreclosure homes and flipped them have revived the city with updated and upgraded homes.
Home values generally have risen in north and central Scottsdale and northeast Phoenix, but by widely varying degrees.
The 85250 neighborhood, near downtown Scottsdale, experienced the city’s biggest jump in home prices: 24 percent. The area is also one of Scottsdale’s more affordable neighborhoods.
On the other hand, the 85377 ZIP code in Carefree took one of the biggest dives in home prices. The median in the area fell by 15 percent, to $501,000. Other municipalities, such as Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills, saw median prices climb only slightly.
There were healthy 9 percent gains in median prices in northeast Phoenix's 85254 and north Scottsdale’s 85255.
Three of Glendale’s ZIP codes — 85304, 85303 and 85306 — saw home values climb more than 23 in 2012. All of the neighborhoods are in north Glendale, near Arrowhead Ranch, an area with higher-income residents.
The Surprise ZIP code of 85378 was the other area in the northwest Valley to see home prices climb above 20 percent because it’s bisected by Bell Road, which has jobs and shopping.
Home prices dropped in Sun City and Sun City West, which surprised housing analysts because the Valley’s retirement communities typically hold their values. However, the price declines were all below 7 percent.
Home prices in some of the West Valley’s most affordable neighborhoods climbed the most.
In Tolleson’s 85353 ZIP code, the area’s median price jumped by 27 percent. Nearby, in Buckeye’s 85326.
Southwest metro Phoenix is also drawing investors because of the area’s newer, lower-priced homes. It’s not clear what impact investors will have on the area’s home values.
Queen Creek/San Tan Valley/Maricopa
Eleven of 16 ZIP codes in Northern Pinal County saw home-price increases.
Queen Creek experienced the biggest jump in home values, with 30 percent in 2012.
Foreclosure resales are also down in this part of town, with less than 6 percent in Queen Creek and San Tan Valley. Maricopa still has an inventory of about 10 percent of foreclosure resales. Pinal County’s recovery has not rebounded as quickly because the area is farther out and gas prices haven’t made the price savings beneficial for most.
This year - 2013
Most housing analysts agree housing prices will continue to climb in metro Phoenix through the summer. Although those analysts had predicted it would not pick up too much steam in the 1st quarter and keep at a steady healthy pace, the market is in fact moving much faster than they had predicted.