Dr. Jay Butler of Realty Studies at Arizona State University came out with his Phoenix area residential real estate sales and median home price numbers for April 2011.

For the second month in a row, the hard-hit Phoenix-area housing market saw a drop in the foreclosure rate. A new report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University shows what might be the beginning of a welcome trend.

In January and February, 43 percent of the existing-home transactions in the market were foreclosures, but that declined to just under 38 percent in March and now to 36 percent for April.

Greater Phoenix – Median Home Price

(Single-family resale homes. Excludes repossessions but includes sales by banks after they repossess. ASU calls these “Traditional Sales”)

April 2011: $125,000
April 2010: $144,000

According to Dr. Butler’s dataset, the median home price in Maricopa County bottomed out in April 2009 at $125,000 and rose 15% to peak at $144,000 in April and May 2010 before falling again to $125,000 in December 2010, January, March and April 2011.

The stock market technical analysts out there might say we are seeing tremendous resistance at $125,000. I strongly doubt we’ll ever see $125,000 again.

Greater Phoenix – Number of Homes Sold

(Single-family resale homes. Excludes repossessions but includes sales by banks after they repossess. ASU calls these “Traditional Sales”)

April 2011: 6,520
April 2010: 6,765

This time last year we saw a burst of home sales as Phoenix home buyers took advantage of the expiring $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit.

This year Phoenix home sales are very high without the artificial stimulus of the $8,000 tax credit.

NOTE: Dr. Butler’s ASU data measures median home price. He doesn’t measure home price appreciation directly, although the median price follows appreciation very closely. Case-Shiller data, however, directly measures home price appreciation and depreciation. Dr. Guntermann at ASU uses the same technique as Case-Shiller but Dr. Guntermann breaks down the data further to look at appreciation in the major cities within metro Phoenix as well as metro Phoenix as a whole. Case-Shiller and Guntermann release their numbers 2 months after the end of a month while Butler releases his numbers 2 weeks after the end of a month.

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