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Housing insiders hopeful about Arizona market

Real estate industry leaders gathered in Phoenix recently during Arizona's annual Urban Land Institute conference to forecast when the housing market might rebound.

At the conference, local and national real estate investors and developers estimated that the housing market has bottomed out, and economists are hoping that the market's rebound will help lead other sectors into recovery. One participant said at the conference that he believes Arizona has already experienced three-quarters of its foreclosures. Of course, that still means quite a lot of foreclosures may be coming.

Real estate insiders examined data on Phoenix area homes at the conference, and found that although home prices in the area went up at the end of 2011, they are still below 2000 prices. Phoenix's median home price is $120,000, which is the same as in 1999.

However, the homebuilding industry--which accounts for many jobs in Arizona--is not doing as well. Fewer than 7,000 new houses were built in the Valley last year; before the market's boom, an average number of new homes built in a year was around 35,000.

As we know, the recession is affecting many people who thought they had made smart real estate decisions. And, even if the market is improving, some Mesa residents will continue to fight the foreclosure of a home, raw land or vacation property. One way to stop foreclosure is to file for bankruptcy, which will put an automatic stay on foreclosure proceedings. However, this solution is not right for everyone, but it is a viable option for many.

Source: Arizona Republic, "Arizona Housing experts guarded but hopeful," Catherine Reagor, Feb. 3, 2012