Jay Butler of Realty Studies at ASU came out with his Phoenix area residential real estate sales and median price numbers for October 2008. Realty Studies is associated with the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus.

We expected September to have strong sales because many buyers were trying to get in before most lenders “outlawed” many seller contributions to buyers. Essentially, many buyers had to have more down payment after September.

The worry was that the number of Phoenix home sales would tank in October after those programs ended. In addition, October is usually a slower month anyway.

It turned out, however, that October (non-foreclosure) home sales were only down 3% from September.

Phoenix Median Home Price – Non-Foreclosures

October 2008: $175,000
October 2007: $250,000

The median home price in Greater Phoenix therefore fell 30%.

Said another way, the median home price in Phoenix was 43% higher in October 2007.

The median home price in Greater Phoenix was $180,000 in September.

A median home price of $175,000 means that home prices in general are very attractive to buyers. We can see that home sales are way up over last October.

Phoenix Number of Homes Sold – Non-Foreclosures

October 2008: 4,465 homes
October 2007: 2,825 homes

The number of homes sold in Greater Phoenix increased 58%.

When the higher number of sales eventually brings down the high inventory of homes for sale to normal levels, the fall in the median home price should stop. I expect prices in a few zip codes to start leveling off in the next few months.