Phoenix-area housing update: Prices up, new-home sales coming back

April 26, 2012

Foreclosures are dramatically down in the Phoenix-area housing market. This means fewer cheap homes coming onto the market, prices rising for the sixth month in a row as a result, and many buyers finally starting to turn their attention from bargain resale homes to new-home sales. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University reveals some trends for Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of March:

• The number of foreclosures completed this March was down a huge 60 percent from March 2011. Mike Orr Download Full Image

• The median single-family-home price went up more than 20 percent from last March.

• New-home sales rose 35 percent in the same time period.

Mike Orr, the report’s author, says the home-buying season is in full swing and peak activity will last until June. The median single-family-home price in the Phoenix-area was $134,900 in March. That’s up 20.4 percent from a year ago when it was $112,000. Realtors will note the average price per square-foot went up 14.4 percent.

“Prices have begun to rise at a fast pace, and bargains are no longer plentiful,” says Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Most homes that are priced well are attracting multiple offers within a couple of days, and many are exceeding the asking price.”

Orr emphasizes there’s been a dramatic change in the types of transactions happening in the market. Normal resales, new-home sales, investor flips and short sales are on the rise, while lender-owned home sales are down 61 percent from the year before.

Overall, the supply of single-family homes on the market (without an existing contract) went down 64 percent from March 2011 to March 2012. Orr estimates there is only a 23-day supply of homes priced under $250,000 available and that the market is very unbalanced, with far more buyers than sellers. The existing supply is heavily weighted toward the higher-priced end of the market.

“The very low number of inexpensive homes available for resale means more buyers are considering purchasing new homes as an option,” says Orr. “This signals the start of a distinct upward trend in new-home sales.”

When it comes to resales, Orr says all-cash buyers are still receiving preference over those with offers that require some form of financing. That’s because lenders need an appraisal, and appraisers are typically looking at months-old home sales for comparison. Those are priced well below the current market value.

“This puts ordinary home buyers at a severe disadvantage,” explains Orr. “More than 26 percent of Phoenix-area transactions are investor purchases.”

Orr’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at More analysis is also available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at

Women's golf heads to Pac-12 Championships

April 26, 2012

Pac-12 Championship Central | Pac-12 Golf Stats | Pac-12 Individual Champions (Photos)

LIVE SCORING | Arizona State Pac-12 Titles | 2012 Statistics  Download Full Image

The fourth-ranked Arizona State women’s golf team heads to Washington State to compete in the 2012 Pac-12 Women’s Golf Championships, Apr. 27-29 at the par-72, 6,200-yard Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash.

The Sun Devils have won the Pac-12 team title a total of eight times, most recently in 2009, for the most conference championships in Pac-12 history. From 1993-96, Arizona State won four consecutive team titles. ASU also holds the record for most Pac-12 individual championships with 11.

Senior Giulia Molinaro looks to continue her career-best campaign at the conference championships. Ranked second in the nation according to Golfweek, Molinaro has recorded six top-10 finishes on the season and has never finished outside the top-15.

The field for the Pac-12 Championships features eight teams ranked in the top-25 in the nation according to Golfstat, including three of the top-four ranked teams: No. 17 Arizona, No. 4 Arizona State, No. 14 California, No. 12 Colorado, No. 21 Oregon, No. 53 Oregon State, No. 40 Stanford, No. 1 UCLA, No. 3 USC, No. 25 Washington, No. 78 Washington State. 

On Friday and Saturday, tee times will be off No. 1 and No. 10 beginning at 8:30 a.m. On Sunday, tee times begin at 8 a.m.

FIRST ROUND • Friday, April 27

No. 3 Arizona State, No. 11 Washington State

1st Tee - 8:30 a.m./8:38 a.m./8:46 a.m./8:54 a.m./9:02 a.m.

No. 1 UCLA, No. 6 Arizona

1st Tee - 9:10 a.m./9:18 a.m./9:26 a.m./9:34 a.m./9:42 a.m.

No. 7 Oregon, No. 5 California

1st Tee - 9:50 a.m./9:58 a.m./10:06 a.m./10:14 a.m./10:22 a.m.

No. 9 Stanford, No. 8 Washington

10th Tee - 8:30 a.m./8:38 a.m./8:46 a.m./8:54 a.m./9:02 a.m.

No. 4 Colorado, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 2 USC

10th Tee - 9:10 a.m./9:18 a.m./9:26 a.m./9:34 a.m./9:42 a.m.

Following the first round, seedings and pairings will be determined by team scores.

SECOND ROUND • Saturday, April 28

Seeds 5 and 6 - 1st Tee - 8:30 a.m.

Seeds 7 and 8 - 10th Tee - 8:30 a.m.

Seeds 3 and 4 - 1st Tee - 9:10 a.m.

Seeds 9, 10 and 11 - 10th Tee - 9:10 a.m.

Seeds 1 and 2 - 1st Tee - 9:50 a.m.

THIRD ROUND • Sunday, April 29

Seeds 5 and 6 - 1st Tee - 8 a.m.

Seeds 7 and 8 - 10th Tee - 8 a.m.

Seeds 3 and 4 - 1st Tee - 8:40 a.m.

Seeds 9, 10 and 11 - 10th Tee - 8:40 a.m.

Seeds 1 and 2 - 1st Tee - 9:20 a.m.

TOURNAMENT SCORING: The four individuals from each team with the lowest scores for any 18-hole round constitute the scoring members of the team for that round. The team championship will be awarded to the squad with the lowest total combined score for all rounds.