Arizona Real Estate Market

If you are in the market for a house, the news is good: Sellers will answer your calls and consider your offer. Michael Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice told the Economic Club of Phoenix on March 18, 2014 that the current lull in home price increases will continue this year. With investors moving to cheaper markets and young people lukewarm about home ownership, the market is a welcoming place for those few in the mood to buy.

January — usually the slowest month of the year for home sales — turned out to be the second quietest in 14 years. According to Michael Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice, the number of homes sold in the Phoenix area real estate market in January was 18 percent lower than December and 22 percent lower than January a year ago. Prices also declined, with the median sales price for a single family home slipping 4 percent between December and January.

More than two years of rising prices in the Phoenix real estate market appear to be coming to an end, says Michael Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and practice and author of the monthly housing report. The December data shows that although the median single-family-home price rose 25 percent compared to December 2012, sales during that period dropped 16 percent, reflecting what Orr says is a cooling market.

A group of the Valley’s most successful brokers, meeting at a real estate forum at the W. P. Carey School of Business, agree that although the commercial real estate market is recovering, improvement will be slow. Pete Bolton, executive vice president and managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) who helps organize and moderates the forum, summarized the discussion this way: “2014: More of the same, but better!”

Making sense of the Phoenix real estate market requires an understanding of sales data, demographics and trends. On January 25, 2013, the W. P. Carey School of Business and The Arizona Republic assembled a panel of experts, each with depth knowledge of a different facet of the market.