Sales of residential properties, including foreclosed government tax deed sales, increased in Phoenix, Arizona in December 2010 compared with the previous month. However, year-by-year data showed a decline in combined residential sales. Existing home sales outperformed new housing unit sales, realtors from the metro have reported.
December housing data showed that Phoenix foreclosure homes and non-foreclosed dwellings sold during the month totaled over 8,700. This represents a 22% gain from November 2010 housing sales, but also represents a 1.4% drop when compared with December 2009. New housing unit sales remained weak, but sales of existing properties posted a yearly increase for the first time within an eight-month period. December 2010 existing dwelling sales also recorded their highest jump for a December period since five years ago.
Realtors attributed the strong month-by-month sales performance to increased investor activities and high number of properties under Arizona foreclosure listings that were sold during the month. They reported that a big percentage of the December sales were accounted for by distressed and foreclosed properties. Realtors also cited the low selling prices of dwellings as factors behind increased buying activities in the metro area.
Although December 2010 sales of foreclosures and government tax deed sales recorded their highest jump since December of 2005, it was actually the lowest figure for a December sale of homes covering both foreclosed and non-foreclosed dwellings since 2008. When compared with past Decembers starting a decade and a half ago, December 2010 sales represented a decline of over 7% from the average sales figures posted each December for the past 15 years.
Sales of foreclosure homes for December 2010 jumped by 23% compared with November 2010 and also increased from December 2009 by 2.9%. New housing units accounted for only 8.4% of total housing sales in December 2010 in Phoenix, representing a drop from the 12.2% posted during December 2009. New home sales for the month were also way below the average monthly rate of 24%.
Realtors and housing market analysts expect government tax deed sales and foreclosed properties to continue to account for a high percentage of total housing sales in the city in the coming months. According to them, the low prices of distressed properties, as well as low mortgage rates, are luring buyers towards foreclosed houses.