Phoenix housing market ready to end a relatively flat year

December 16, 2014

After several years of wild roller-coaster activity, the Phoenix-area housing market is ready to end a relatively flat year. That’s according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Here are the highlights of the new report on Maricopa and Pinal counties, as of October:

• The median single-family-home sales price went up just 4 percent from last October to this October – from $200,000 to $208,000. Mike Orr Download Full Image

• Demand remains lower than last year, with sales of single-family homes down 5 percent from last October.

• The Valley is experiencing a very small bump up in two areas – investor interest and new-home sales.

After the housing crash, Phoenix-area home prices shot up from September 2011 to summer 2013. Then, the median single-family-home price rose just 4 percent more – from $200,000 to $208,000 – from last October to this October. Realtors will note the average price per square foot also went up 4 percent. The median townhome/condo sales price rose only 2 percent.

“We’ve seen very little change in the Greater Phoenix housing market for the last year, and stability is the order of the day,” says the report’s author, Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Price increases look tame over the last 12 months, and even tamer if you examine just the last six months. There is no longer any real upward price momentum greater than the general level of inflation.”

Orr’s report notes that demand in the market remains lower than last year. In fact, the amount of single-family-home sales dropped 5 percent from last October to this October. Activity from first-time home buyers has been unusually low, in part because some people had their credit badly damaged during the recession and also because millennials are waiting to enter the home market until later in life than previous generations. These are also reasons the rental market is strong. Rents have increased 3.7 percent over the last 12 months in the Phoenix area.

Meantime, Valley foreclosures have dropped way down over the past year. Completed foreclosures of single-family and condo homes were down 19 percent from last October to this October. The lack of cheap foreclosures here has been largely driving investors to other areas of the country, where bargains are more plentiful. However, there was a little bump back up between this September and October. The percentage of residential properties bought by investors hit 15.5 percent, the highest level since May, but still well below last year’s levels.

“Investors and out-of-state buyers are showing a small recovery in buying interest, but to get our market back to what we would consider normal will still require a major increase in demand from local first-time home buyers,” explains Orr.

Some expect the coming introduction of conventional home loans with lower, 3-percent down payments next year to stimulate more interest, but Orr isn’t sure this will make a major dent. He anticipates small, incremental improvements.

“The big economic gains of the last few years have helped companies, but not necessarily the average person who might consider taking out a home loan,” says Orr.

One other note from Orr: The market share for new-home sales is doing better and has recovered to 14 percent – the same level as October 2013. Taylor Morrison, Pulte Homes and Meritage Homes are leading the way in the Phoenix area.

Those wanting more Valley housing data can subscribe to Orr’s monthly reports at The premium site includes statistics, charts, graphs and the ability to focus in on specific aspects of the market. More analysis is also available at the W. P. Carey School of Business “Research and Ideas” website at

ASU professors named National Academy of Inventors Fellows

December 16, 2014

Arizona State University research scientists Stuart Lindsay and Michael Kozicki have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Election to the academy's fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. portrait of Michael N. Kozicki, ASU professor Download Full Image

Those named today bring the total number of NAI Fellows to 414, representing more than 150 prestigious research universities and governmental and non-profit research institutions.

“Doctors Kozicki and Lindsay exemplify the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of faculty and researchers at ASU. They have made outstanding contributions to their fields, economic development and society,” says Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “It is a great honor to have the NAI recognize their innovative and use-inspired work.”

The fellows will be inducted on March 20, 2015, as part of the 4th Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Andrew Faile, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deputy commissioner for patent operations, will be providing the keynote address for the induction ceremony. Fellows will be presented with a special trophy, newly designed medal and rosette pin in honor of their outstanding accomplishments.

The fellows will be recognized with a full-page announcement in The Chronicle of Higher Education's Jan. 16, 2015 issue, and in upcoming issues of Inventors Digest and Technology and Innovation.

Lindsay is a professor and the director of the Center for Single Molecule Biophysics at ASU's Biodesign Institute. His inventions in the field of atomic force microscopy led to the founding of Molecular Imaging Corporation, a pioneer in chemical applications of atomic force microscopy. It is now the Nanomeasurements Division of Agilent Technologies (Keysight). His inventions in the field of molecular electronics have laid the groundwork for a new single molecule sequencing technique, currently licensed to and under development by Roche. He has published over 200 papers and written the first comprehensive textbook on nanoscience. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Antennas and Propagation Society and the Institute of Physics.

Kozicki serves as the director of the Center for Applied Nanoionics and as a professor in ASU's School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, where he has graduated 24 doctoral and 37 master's (thesis) students. He invented ionic memory, a low energy technology that is destined to replace Flash and enable devices for the Internet of Things. He is the founder of Axon Technologies and Idendrix, Inc., and was instrumental in the launch and growth of Adesto Technologies. He holds 48 U.S. patents (with around 1,000 citations) and 27 international patents, licensed to three companies. He published 144 journal and proceedings papers, with over 1,650 citations, two books and two book chapters, and presented 48 invited talks out of 180 conference appearances. He is a visiting professor at the University of Edinburgh, a Chartered Engineer and member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Institute of Physics. Kozicki has made several television appearances to promote public understanding of science.

The academic inventors and innovators elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents, and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

Included among all of the NAI Fellows are 61 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 208 members of the other National Academies (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine); 21 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 16 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation; 10 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Science; 21 Nobel laureates; 11 Lemelson-MIT prize recipients; 112 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows; and 62 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellows, among other awards and distinctions.

The 2014 NAI Fellows Selection Committee comprises 17 members, including NAI Fellows; recipients of U.S. National Medals; National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees; members of the National Academies; and senior officials from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of University Technology Managers and National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Allie Nicodemo

Communications specialist, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development