It could be worse… and was. Foreclosures accounted for 47% of resale home sales in Pinal County in the first quarter of 2008 according to Realty Studies at ASU.

For all transactions, the median price has steadily eroded from $220,000 in fourth quarter 2005 to $193,000 in third quarter 2007, to $143,100 for the current quarter. The foreclosure median price was $145,000, while the traditional transaction was $141,000.

That tidbit about the median price of foreclosures being higher than non-foreclosures is interesting. Perhaps foreclosures tend to be newer homes.

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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pinal County resale housing market experiences declining prices

MESA, Ariz. – Of the 2,100 recorded resale transaction in second quarter
2008, there were 845 foreclosures or 40 percent of the resale activity.
For the first quarter, there were 785 foreclosures of the 1,680 recorded
transactions or 47 percent. Although recorded foreclosure activity
slowed in the second quarter, it still represented a dominant segment
such as a 48 percent share in Maricopa and 42 percent share in Queen
Creek. Maricopa County reported 21,445 recorded sales in the second
quarter with foreclosure activity representing 41 percent of the
recordings.

“In Pinal County, there is a wide range of homes available, from the
listed homes to foreclosures, but a key force driving the sales activity
has been the rapidly declining prices,” said Jay Butler, director of
Realty Studies at Arizona State University’s Morrison School of
Management and Agribusiness at the Polytechnic campus. “Homeowners and
investors are buying with the expectation of strong appreciation in the
future.”

For all transactions, the median price has steadily eroded from $220,000
in fourth quarter 2005 to $193,000 in third quarter 2007, to $143,100
for the current quarter. The foreclosure median price was $145,000,
while the traditional transaction was $141,000.

The median home price in Pinal County was 72 percent of the median price
in Maricopa County ($200,000). Although the 30-year mortgage increased
from 5.9 to 6.1 percent, a lower home price drove the monthly mortgage
payment for the median price, based on an 85 percent loan-to-value, to
decrease from $1,010 to $735. It would be $1,030 for the median priced
home in Maricopa County.

Although affordability has improved, higher gasoline prices, more
congested highways and limited employment opportunities continue to
strongly hamper any potential recovery of the housing market in Pinal
County. In order to reduce inventories, new home builders are still
aggressively pursuing buyers through incentives such as specially priced
upgrades, free pools and gift cards. The new home has become a strong
competitive and attractive alternative to the resale home in Pinal
County. New home sales were 1,925 homes with a median price of $167,690,
in contrast to last year’s 2,425 sales and median price of $201,885.

The median square footage for a resale home in Pinal County was 1,830
square feet, while it was 1,780 square feet in Maricopa County.