Uncertainty, foreclosures still dominate housing market

November 16, 2010

Foreclosure-related activity continues to dominate the Phoenix-area housing market. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU shows 65 percent of the recorded existing-home transactions last month were either foreclosures or the resales of previously foreclosed-on properties.

“We’re seeing even more uncertainty in the marketplace than a month ago, including more distrust surrounding the foreclosure process,” said associate professor of Real Estate Jay Butler, who authored the new report. “The decisions leading to the reported activity in October began well before the revelation of widespread flaws in the foreclosure process. Then, with foreclosure moratoriums and weak economic and job growth heightening the uncertainty, the road to housing recovery has become rougher.” Download Full Image

Butler has previously stated this uncertainty could affect the availability of title insurance, the willingness of people to buy foreclosed properties, and the public perception and acceptance of the home-financing process. He believes the level of activity and prices could go lower than people generally expected as we wait for the review and resolution of problems associated with the foreclosure process and unemployment.

The Phoenix-area housing market experienced about 3,400 home foreclosures in October. That’s actually down from more than 4,100 in September and from more than 3,800 in October of last year. Butler specifically notes a reduction in the foreclosure rate among high-end homes because they are difficult for banks to resell right now.

Overall, foreclosures accounted for 42 percent of the resale housing-market transactions in October, the lowest percentage recorded since June. However, Butler doesn’t see this as an indication things are improving, but rather just part of an annual pattern.

“With children in school and the coming of the holidays, the typical pattern is for sales and foreclosures to slow through the remainder of the year,” he said.

About 4,700 homes were resold in the Phoenix area in October. That’s down from about 4,900 in September and down from more than 6,100 last October. The median price of a home resold in the Valley in October was $135,000, the same as in August and down from $140,000 last October.

In the townhouse/condominium market, about 500 foreclosures happened in the Phoenix area in October. The median price for a townhome/condo sold in October was $80,000. That’s up from $75,000 in September, but way down from $95,750 last October.

Butler’s full report, including statistics, charts and a breakdown by different areas of the Valley, can be viewed at http://wpcarey.asu.edu/realestate/Phoenix-Resale-Market-Reports.cfm">http://wpcarey.asu.edu/realestate/Phoenix-Resale-Market-Reports.cfm">htt.... More analysis is also available from Knowledge@W. P. Carey, the business school’s online resource and biweekly newsletter, at http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu.">http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu">http://knowledge.wpcarey.asu.edu.

ASU professors honored with Excellence in Research Award

November 16, 2010

Arizona State University professors Qiang Hu and Milton Sommerfeld were honored with the Excellence in Research Award at the 2010 Arizona Bioindustry Association’s BioFest, Oct. 27, at the J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale.

The Arizona Bioindustry Association (AzBio) is concerned with making Arizona a place where bioscience organizations can grow and succeed. The BioFest awards are held annually to promote and recognize innovation in the biosciences professions.

The Award for Research Excellence is given to life science researchers who have made the most significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of biological processes, either in a commercial or academic setting.

Hu and Sommerfeld received the award for their on-going research into ways of converting algae to fuel. The two scientists have been working on algae as a renewable source of fuel for more than 25 years.

Their Laboratory of Algae Research and Biotechnology (LARB) is housed in the College of Technology and Innovation at ASU’s Polytechnic campus, and recently became part of the newly established Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI).

The two have been recognized nationally and locally for their efforts. In 2008, Time Magazine named Hu and Sommerfeld’s process of converting algae to fuel as one of the top innovations of 2008. In 2009, they were recognized with the Innovator of the Year-Academia Award at the 2009 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation in Phoenix.

For more about their work, visit http://larb.asu.edu.http://larb.asu.edu">http://larb.asu.edu. />

Written by Tana Ingram

Media Contact:

Christine Lambrakis


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