When I browse the (newly updated) Zip Code Real Estate Notebooks in the right-hand margin, I keep an eye on El Mirage (85335).

During the upswing, El Mirage had a huge increase in prices. What was once a very affordable area for recently built homes got caught up in the mania and it lost it’s anchor to reality.

Many (California?) investors came in looking for the least expensive, recently built home. That investment strategy often took them to El Mirage.

They thought they were being smart. Unfortunately for them, a ton of other investors had the exact same idea to invest in the least expensive recently built homes.

(I also suspect that being on the California side on town was a factor. Novice California investors would drive into town and buy in the first acceptable community they found.)

My impression is that El Mirage, like a lot of areas, is the opposite of Scottsdale. In Scottsdale, homeowners have more money. If a home seller doesn’t get the price he wants, he can wait… some are willing to wait for years if needed. They can wait out the market and in the meantime live in a beautiful home.

Not in El Mirage. Many home owners are first time buyers and investors. A change in their adjustable rate mortgage or whatever can force the home into foreclosure.

Once a bank owns the property, they are going to sell at the highest price possible… in the next 30 days… and that generates fast decreases in the median home price.

That’s my storyline for El Mirage.

I think El Mirage, Arizona homes are starting to look interesting again for first time home buyers.

El Mirage, Arizona median home price per square foot