March sales of existing homes through the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service increased over last year by 18%. Some of this is attributable to the home buyer tax credit which requires a contract by the end of April. We have also seen a number of second home buyers from other states and Canada. Home prices are low right now and many articles I’ve read indicate that we may be at the bottom of the market. Interest rates are also still at historically low levels.
The number of months of inventory of existing homes has come down significantly since 2008. This does vary by city and neighborhood within the Greater Phoenix area. There are also variances between single family homes and condominiums. FHA rules have changed and it is more difficult to purchase a condo using an FHA loan than it was in past years. This has reduced the buyer pool for condos somewhat and will likely cause price recovery for condos to fall behind that of single family homes in the months going forward.