July 16, 2012
PHOENIX — The Phoenix metro housing market is seeing a rise in home prices and a decline in the number of houses on the market, putting the area ahead of most other U.S. cities on the road to recovery, according to real estate experts.
Economists say the upward trend in the Phoenix area may serve as a beacon of hope for other cities across the nation that suffered when the housing bubble burst.
“The Phoenix market will be a benchmark city to monitor for residents in Las Vegas, the Inland Empire of California and … the Florida market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.
The median price for Phoenix-area homes in May was about 30 percent higher than it was the same time last year, according to a monthly report released by the W. P. Carey School of Business’s Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at Arizona State University. The report also shows there are about half as many houses on the market as there were the same time last year.
The Phoenix area market was one of the hardest hit in the nation in terms of distressed properties, but the state’s foreclosure system allows it to work through the backlog more quickly than states in which foreclosures have to go through the judicial process. Banks and mortgage companies have the power in Arizona to foreclose homes without a judge’s approval.