Mike Orr director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU just came out with his year-end numbers for the metro Phoenix real estate market (Maricopa and Pinal counties).

Mike and I are usually on the same wavelength.

Read the whole thing.

Summary of 2012 Phoenix Real Estate Market

• The median single-family-home sales price shot up almost 34 percent — $122,500 to $164,000 — from December 2011 to December 2012.

• The supply of homes for sale fell 6 percent from January 2012 to January 2013, with discounted, “distressed” supply down a whopping 42 percent.

• Foreclosures plummeted 51 percent from December 2011 to December 2012.

“2012 was all about low inventory, which has been driving up home prices,” explains Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Foreclosures and short sales have gone down, eliminating the sources of many cheap homes, so the more expensive types of transactions, like normal resales and new-home sales, went up. As a result, new-home construction, which was at rock bottom in 2011, also really came roaring back in 2012.”

2012 Median Price up 33% (SFR) and 43% (condos)

The median single-family-home price in the Valley went up about 33.9 percent from December 2011 to December 2012, rising from $122,500 to $164,000. The median townhouse/condominium price went up 42.7 percent, from $70,000 to $99,900.

Real Estate Investor Trends

Investor interest has dropped somewhat in recent months, after peaking in late summer, according to Mike. That means ordinary home buyers face less competition from investors but all-cash purchases still accounted for 35.5 percent of home sales in Maricopa County in December.

Lots and Land Trends

According to Mike, developers are stocking up on vacant lots – having purchased almost 2,300 of them, plus several tracts of undeveloped land, in December alone.

January 2013 Demand

“With prices moving substantially higher, it’s not surprising that buyer interest eased a little,” says Orr. “We still see multiple bids for many resale listings, but demand isn’t as strong as it was in spring 2012.”

[See my recent post on the Phoenix real estate market here.]