Good News on the Home Front

The East Vally Tribune reports that existing home sales increased compared to last year. According to the morning news, this is the first time since 2005 that the year over year (YOY) sales numbers have been positive. For Gilbert, there were 360 sales in April of 2008 compared to 330 in the same month last year, a 9% increase. The news is mixed though since median home prices have come down a bit over the same period.

Now, what I just said is just a paraphrase of what is being reported across newspapers and T.V. news. But in a Web 2.0 world, I’m also interested in what local real estate bloggers have to say with the same numbers. This is because most of the time local area agents have a better understanding of the market and can shed better light on these numbers than the so called “experts”. Below is a sampling of what I found in some prominent local real estate blogs discussing the good news.

The Phoenix Real Estate Guy (Jay Thompson) says:

Beginning of a recovery? One time blip? Who knows. One YOY data point does not a trend make. But sales seem to be picking up steam, foreclosures are creating affordability, and absorption rates are falling. All of this seems to indicate we may be bottoming.

AllPhoenixRealEstate.Com (Jonathan Dalton):

Lower prices can be expected since it is the bank owned home sector fueling the current real estate market. And as I’ve said at least a half-dozen times, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The biggest gem though comes from North Phoenix Agent (Heather Barr) who in the middle of April posted anecdotal evidence asking if the market was improving, some of her nuggets (which is being validated through improved numbers):

  • I’ve also got 3 new buyers, money in hand, FICO score safely in the mid- to high-700’s, ready to buy this month
  • My A/C guy is busier than he can keep up with, with new work based on home inspection findings
  • His friend who does truss work for area builders, says he’s busy again after a 1-1/2 year lull
  • A friend of mine who works for Pulte says their sales office is slammed; she’s working Saturdays again

So what does it all mean? It seems we’re getting our usual spring inventory increase. With an already bloated market full of too many under-improved and over-priced houses, this should be bad. But the good news it we seem to be selling it.

Way to go Heather. You nailed this one a month in advance.

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