State Capitol News
9:41 am
Thu May 24, 2012

AZ Home Sales Up

A new report today paints a mixed picture of home values in the state. 

The study by the Federal Housing Finance Agency finds the price of an average Arizona home that sold in the first three months of the year up by nearly 2.5 percent. That far exceeds the national average of just a half a percent. But when the report adds in appraisals to refinance mortgages, a different picture emerges: Overall home values are still dropping. Put another way, homeowners who are getting new loans are seeing appraisal reports that show their properties are worth less now than a year ago. But anyone in the purchasing market needs to be prepared to shell out more. Economist Michael Orr of Arizona State University said there appears to be too many people chasing too few available and affordable homes.

"The supply is way, way down on where it used to be," Orr said. "We've got only a tiny fraction of normal listings of what we would normally have at this time of year. And at the same time, people who have relied on banks listing homes are realizing the banks haven't got many homes because they're not foreclosing on very many."

Orr also said that appraisers are being conservative in their reports because of pressure by lenders who want to be sure they can recoup their losses if they do have to foreclose.