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21 reasons to bank on the Phoenix real estate market . . .

HousingPanic, a particularly vitriolic BubbleBlog — which is saying something — asks:

Realistically, how overvalued are Phoenix home prices?

Obviously, I consider this a profoundly silly question, but to lurk among the BubbleBloggers and their seething commentariat is to acquire an education in a slice of America invisible from this side of the sewer gratings. Notwithstanding the idiotic economic analysis, which is really no worse than the static-market fallacies paraded as profundities in the pages of the Arizona Republic, these sites — and not just HousingPanic — are infested with a cult-like fever to inflict suffering — at second hand, to be sure — on people who are in fact guilty of nothing except failing to have drunk the BubbleBlogger KoolAde.

That’s all one. I don’t care. The whole of the last century was dominated by the bad behavior of viciously angry wretches, but look where it got them. The BubbleBloggers will someday bawl balefully in private, but they will never, ever admit that they have been very publicly very foolish. You will know and I will know and in the secret chambers of their hearts they will know they were wrong all along. But as long as you don’t hold your breath waiting for that contrite admission of error, you should be fine.

Here’s where I do start to care. Whenever the subject of Phoenix comes up in a BubbleBlog, the assembled Brown Shirts pile on, for whatever reason. This is their perfect right — even though I think they’re wrong. I love this place. I came here for three months in 1988, and I could not wait to get back. The first time I set foot here, on March 13, 1988, I knew I was home. We moved here for good on April 1, 1991, and I cannot imagine living happily anywhere else. Our relocation page is my extended love letter to the Phoenix area, warts and all. I’ve been writing lovingly about this place since the day I got here, and I’ll keep it up at least until the day before I die here.

Which brings me back to HousingPanic’s question. We keep our own home sales price statistics, so we have no doubt that values are down from their high in December. How much? Right now, about 4%. Could they go lower? Certainly. Will they drop by the huge amounts HousingPanic and his flying monkeys seem to yearn for? This seems very unlikely.

What seems much more likely is that Phoenix will recover from the hangover of last year’s buying binge and get back to a steady rate of growth — historically 6% a year. The reason this should happen is very simple: Population growth.

Metropolitan Phoenix is a unique real estate market. While other cities experience static — or even negative — population change, The Valley of the Sun routinely adds 100,000 new residents every year. There is no reason to think this will stop — not now and not soon. The carrying capacity of Greater Phoenix is eight million souls, about 266% our present population. We will hit that number — but not until 2040 or after.

A significant proportion of those people will want to live indoors, which evidently is such a flimsy idea that it cannot penetrate the skull of a BubbleBlogger. Ah, well, it takes all kinds — although the lord alone knows why it should.

In any case, here do I compile my list of 21 really good reasons to bank on the future of the Phoenix area real estate market:

  1. The migration from the Snow Belt states to Metropolitan Phoenix has been unabated for 60 years.
  2. A similar extended migration is now occurring from the Northwestern states and Western Canada.
  3. The “installed base” of all those migrants brings a steady stream of extended family members.
  4. Proposition 13 makes moving up difficult in California; many Golden State sellers buy in the Phoenix area.
  5. Californians in pursuit of other objectives — e.g., a friendlier business climate — migrate to the Valley of the Sun.
  6. Baby Boomers will retire in droves to warmer climes — the Atlantic coast, the Gulf states and the Southwest.
  7. Among those locales, Phoenix is by far the least prone to natural disasters.
  8. Because of this, people from disaster-afflicted regions have formed a new stream of in-migration.
  9. There is a steady migration of new residents from Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries south of the border.
  10. Phoenix is a destination of choice or the second-landing city for immigrants from all over the world.
  11. While higher oil prices will put a strain on our far-flung suburbs, the greatest pain will be felt in Northern states where fuel oil or natural gas are used as heat sources; even people who don’t hate the winter will move to the Phoenix area to escape high heating bills.
  12. The Phoenix Metropolitan area is a dynamic jobs creation machine, adding tens of thousand of new jobs every year.
  13. People who have or hope to have children move here as soon as they can manage it.
  14. Compared to the areas from which many of our in-migrants are drawn, our homes are still very affordable.
  15. We build thousands more new homes every year.
  16. The Greater Phoenix area has 60 years of sustained practice at managing extreme growth — this in contrast to thrashing cities like Las Vegas.
  17. Snowbirds, politely known as Our Winter Visitors, eventually move here year-around.
  18. Our first waves of massive migration occurred after WW II; mustered out soldiers who had been stationed here came back with their families; this pattern continues among people who are posted here temporarily for various reasons.
  19. People who stay at our resorts often fall in love with the Valley of the Sun and return as soon as they are able.
  20. A significant number of active and retired professional athletes maintain homes here, in no small part because the Phoenix/Scottsdale area has…
  21. Year-around golf.

It could be there’s too much sun here for congenital cellar-dwellers — but that’s a good thing!

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Related posts:
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  • Looking for a bargain in Phoenix real estate? Add some elbow grease to your money and go for a bank-owned home

  • 123 comments

    123 Comments so far

    1. mike July 27th, 2006 5:41 am

      In your list of 21, I count only 8 distinct reasons.

      Let’s analyze them in the context of your opening theorem: that Pheonix home prices are not overvalued.

      a) Influx of people
      Reasons 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20

      This single item makes up more than half of your list of 21 reasons.

      If we look at the growth of unsold inventory in the last 12 mos along with the declining sales volume for the same period, either this interstate influx has abated or the people are unable to afford a house in Phoenix.

      b) Job creation
      Reason 12

      “Tens of thousands of new jobs every year” sounds very promising. But why aren’t these new employees buying homes?

      c) Lots of new homes being built
      Reason 15

      I’m literally scratching my head wondering why you put this in the “plus” column given the current 10 month backlog of inventory in Phoenix.

      Phoneix doesn’t need more houses, it needs more buyers … or fewer houses.

      e) Relative affordabilty to Californians
      Reasons 4 and 14.

      The argument could be made that anywhere outside California is “more affordable” to Californians; Phoenix is not unique in this regard.

      In fact, many other, closer places are even more affordable. Wherever it is that Californians are going these days and buying homes, it isn’t Phoenix.

      d) Experience managing extreme growth
      Reason 16

      The empirical data belie the claim of experience managing extreme growth. How did this pool of experience allow such a tremendous inventory of unsold homes to accumulate?

      f, g, and h)) Relative lack of natural disasters, relative immunity from oil prices and year-round golf
      Reasons 7, 11 and 21.

      With all due respect, these are just silly. I assume you tossed them in for levity.

      In closing, there must be *some* reason why sales volume in the Phoenix area nosedived and remained depressed for most of 2006.

      If you don’t think the primary culprit for the downturn in sales volume is home prices, why don’t you offer a counter explanation?

    2. Greg Swann July 27th, 2006 9:38 am

      If we look at the growth of unsold inventory in the last 12 mos along with the declining sales volume for the same period, either this interstate influx has abated or the people are unable to afford a house in Phoenix.

      Your conclusions are false because your premises are false. There is a surfeit of resale inventory, but many of the sellers are not truly motivated. Sales volumes are normal, where the 15 months prior to September 2005 was extremely abnormal. Your backward-looking analysis doesn’t look back far enough.

      “Tens of thousands of new jobs every year” sounds very promising. But why aren’t these new employees buying homes?

      They are.

      I’m literally scratching my head wondering why you put this in the “plus” column given the current 10 month backlog of inventory in Phoenix.

      This is false again. We’re at a seven month absorption rate right now. Not great, not awful, and only that high because there are so many loosely-motivated sellers.

      The argument could be made that anywhere outside California is “more affordable” to Californians; Phoenix is not unique in this regard.

      But Phoenix and Las Vegas are uniquely attractive to relocating Californians.

      Wherever it is that Californians are going these days and buying homes, it isn’t Phoenix.

      This is also false.

      The empirical data belie the claim of experience managing extreme growth. How did this pool of experience allow such a tremendous inventory of unsold homes to accumulate?

      You’re conflating two different things. The municipalities in the Valley are, generally speaking, highly skilled at managing the problems arising from rapid growth.

      In closing, there must be *some* reason why sales volume in the Phoenix area nosedived and remained depressed for most of 2006.

      They only “nosedived” with respect to an anomalous 15 months of extreme soaring. The number of buyers in the market is completely normal. The number of sellers is abnormally high, but it remains to be seen if most of those surplus sellers would sooner bail out or stay put. Either way, the Phoenix market has a golden future in the long-run. Gilbert in particular, by the way. I like Goodyear a lot, too.

      (By the way, did you know that I’m a Realtor. I work in these towns every day with real live buyers and real live sellers. Do you want to bet that you can out-bet me on the future of the real estate market in the Valley of the Sun? How much would you care to put at risk?)

      If you don’t think the primary culprit for the downturn in sales volume is home prices, why don’t you offer a counter explanation?

      There is no downturn in the Phoenix market. There has been a return to pre-boom activity levels. Assuredly this return was caused by sticker-shock, but that is hardly a permanent affliction. The Phoenix area will continue to grow rapidly for another 35 years, and, in that time, home values will rise steadily even if not with the steady regularity you might wish for. The BubbleHead ‘argument’ is a static market fallacy: Everything was changing until I stopped collecting historical data, after which nothing will ever change again. Free markets don’t work that way. Phoenix will grow and prosper for all the reasons I named and dozens more.

      I don’t know what your stand on all this is, and I don’t want to characterize your argument. But in this reply to me, you have made a number of significant errors that will lead you to draw incorrect conclusions:

      1. People aren’t buying. They are.

      2. Job-seekers are not relocating here. They are.

      3. Californians are not relocating here. They are.

      4. Sellers are desperate to sell. They aren’t.

      5. Surplus inventory will not be absorbed. It will.

      6. Home prices will plummet. They won’t.

    3. Todd Tarson July 27th, 2006 3:09 pm

      The housing panic site is good for entertainment. But that is about it. I can’t stand the aweful attacks on realtors or the whole REIC.

      I think you hit the spot on the motivation level of sellers quite nicely. In 2002 (or thereabouts) sellers were anxious to sell, right now though they are more anxious to hit pay dirt. I feel for those sellers that indeed have to sell to relocate or for family reasons, but in my recent experience these folks saw the increased values over the hot spell and are willing to carve into that in order to sell.

      I think the unmotivated sellers will start to pull their listings off the market by the end of the year and that will bring back balance to the market.

      The downside to the recent hot market is those who bought using ARM’s and other whacky financing, or at least settled on them without thinking of the immediate future (rising interest rates). If many get harmed and foreclosed on, we’ll see the investors again in numbers.

    4. Greg Swann July 27th, 2006 3:53 pm

      The is me in the Arizona Republic a few weeks ago:

      Even if a seller has a genuine need to move on, if that need is not immediate, the seller’s motivation to act will be tempered by hard arithmetic: If your offer is $5,000 under list, and if the monthly carrying cost of the home is $1,000, then the seller can afford to wait five months before your offer is profitable.

      More, from another post in this weblog:

      [H]ome sellers in a buyer’s market are a lot less time-sensitive than are home buyers in a seller’s market. In the latter case, the longer buyers delay acting, the greater their costs — which is why a true seller’s market is so frenzied. But in a buyer’s market, if sellers stand fast, it might turn out that they will suffer a significant loss. But they also may do better by waiting. Or the marginal cost of waiting for a better offer may be less than the loss ensuing from a too-hasty sale. Or they may elect to stay put for a year or two longer, to wait out the market. Truly desperate sellers can fare poorly in a buyer’s market. Most of the others have options that are eminently worth exploring.

    5. Greg Swann July 29th, 2006 11:46 am

      For rational inlookers, the Metropolitan Phoenix residential real estate market has given back 4% since the December 2005 high. Fact, not hyperbole.

    6. Stan July 29th, 2006 11:56 am

      historically the monthly cost of owning a house will be about the same as rent for any given area. I’m not that familiar with Pheonix, but from the posts here and other places as well as doing some math based on current interest rates, home prices and rents, I would be shocked if prices don’t fall 50%. The other inprobable is that rents (and wages) double. Although there will certainly be downward pressure on home prices and upward pressure on rents, the FED seems to be preoccupied with fighting inflation (the upward pressures)

    7. Robert Cot July 29th, 2006 12:40 pm

      “Brown Shirts?”

      Do you have any idea how base and vile this comparison is?

      “Flying monkeys?”

      This the best you’ve got in response to a difference of opinin? Sorry but your comments disqualify you from any reasoned debate over those differences. Instead of anyone reading and responding to your assertions they’ll get as far as Nazi assusations and comparisons to fantasy world evil subhumans and be tempted to respond in kind. But I can rise above that:

      Your claims that Phoenix is not overvalued rely on three premises:

      Housing prices in Phoenix are not affected by nationwide lending practices.
      Phoenix is different from places that are overvalued.
      Demand persists.

      Oh, and since you mention it; which overvalued places don’t have year-round golf? Very few.

    8. Randy July 29th, 2006 1:28 pm

      Sorry guys, but a bunch of so-called trash talkers can’t talk down a robust, real estate economy.

      If sales volume drops, inventories build, then it’s a real thing, otherwise known as a market correction.

    9. AmazingRuss July 29th, 2006 1:35 pm

      Coastal Californian here. Lived in Phoenix in the early 90′s. I don’t care how cheap the houses are, there is no way I would go back there…and the houses aren’t cheap anymore, anhow. Yellow sky. Hostile vegitation. 115 degrees in the summer, hordes of cotton tops careening around the roads in their float boats in the winter. Insane Sherrif whatshisname rolling around with his swat team and urban assault vehicle, crashing into cars and burning down the odd house.

      Maybe it all sounds attractive to central valley Californians, but nobody I know would trade the coast for the desert.

      I hope you guys do ok with your home values, but I would not be looking to wealthy Californians to support them.

    10. Roy Hursh July 29th, 2006 1:40 pm

      How can you honestly believe the Load of Crap you are trying to sell – the housing Market has stoped Dead in Phoenix and no matter how you try to put Humpty Dumpth back together the end result is the same – for the Area the Houses are at least 50% overpriced when you look at what you are getting – Very few People have jobs that pay more than SERF wages (Phoenix’s Population is a large part undocumented Mexican aliens who are uneducated and barely above 3rd world status and that is only because they Migrated Illegally to a Country that does not want them) The homes are ugly boxes the weather 6 months out of the Year is unbearably Hot and Muggy – The Air quality is signifiantly below healthy levels and there is going to be water shortages and possibly Rationing by the year 2020 if New water supplies are not discovered. The Only Positive Human bieings about Phoenix are Real Estate Sales Persons or Brokers and we all know why that is.

    11. Mark Mentges July 29th, 2006 3:15 pm

      The problem with selling in California and moving to Phoenix is SELLING – we are in a burst bubble here in San Diego, Orange County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, and soon LA. . .only Silicon Valley is still relatively strong because they have REAL jobs. . . .if California people can’t sell, they won’t be moving anywhere.

    12. andiron July 29th, 2006 3:25 pm

      amazing hutzpah shown by this realtor…blinded by the huuuuge asset bubble. These phenomena are not new and fundamentals will soon catch up..unfortunately many realtors and their cahoots will be ruined due to obstinacy in the delirium…

    13. veritas July 29th, 2006 3:43 pm

      As a semi-regular contributor to the Bubble Blogs (Housing Panic, Housing Bubble 2 and Patrick.net) I will concede the arguments are largely dominated by a post-housing bubble apocolyptic view.

      But these exagerations are largely tounge in cheek and serve the purpose of detailing thoughts and opinions through parable and metaphor. Just like in the bible, but our jokes are contemporary.

      This must have been lost on you as you wrote those who take a different, albeit harsh view of your profession live on the other side of a sewer grill.

      Many of us consider the views and opinions of RE agents, mortgage brokers, appraisers, etc…to be outright deception and often I feel these comments cross the line into fraud. You may have missed that lecture in Real Estate school. That is if they actually have lectures and teach ethics. Which I doubt, but I digress.

      Economists largely disagree…if you were educated you would know that…many respected minds in the fields of finance, monetary policy, trade balances and even the WTO have remarked on the coming peril of housing prices being disconnected from real incomes.

      Therefore the views presented on these blogs are largely variations or direct quotes from notable economists. Sometimes we even pull down quotes from the NAR and David Leareh. Hey, we all need a laugh.

      The Brownshirt comment shows your humor is no more highbrow then ours sir. The Holocaust and the socio-political conditions that existed in Germany between 1924-1945 still aren’t funny…and chances are they won’t be for many generations to come. Hitler and Nazi analogies are just bad form.

      Accept that as you attack us with your opinions and hyperbole gift wrapped as facts and raw data, we will counter with verifiable historical data, larger words and better sentence structure.

      Also our jokes ARE funny, and in better taste.

      Lastly, we have known for some time that this “long-con” called the housing bubble has already burst and all the Snake-Oil salesmen AKA Real Estate professionals will soon be looking for the next big thing.

    14. iwtoll July 29th, 2006 3:59 pm

      Greg, this is an interesting rhetorical blast at Housing Panic and the other blogs. Your remarks are actually pretty articulate. Love the historical references. Much cleverer than your average realtor, who’s generally pretty barbaric. But you’re the one who’ll refuse to admit he was wrong, a year from now. The economically rational arguments are all on our side: the market is grossly inflated and must correct itself, probably by 50% in Phoenix. A year and a half from now, if confronted with your own words, will you admit you were wrong, or change the subject?

      As for your point that we bubble-bloggers want to see a catastrophe in the housing market, I would say that you have a point; when this whole thing comes apart, it won’t just be the flippers who get hurt. On the other hand, the housing bubble has not been a good thing, overall, for this country. Many people have been priced out, including teachers, firefighters, cops, etc — not good. And the flippers, well, they need to get a spanking or they won’t learn. It’s part of the creative destruction of capitalism. And if we use forceful rhetoric in talking about the impending bursting of this bubble, it’s because we need to counter the propaganda that has been emanating from the real estate industry for many years, which has encouraged people to leverage themselves into a grossly overinflated market in the fear of being “priced out forever.”

    15. Bubble Believer July 29th, 2006 4:15 pm

      I think anyone who buys a home from this Realtor or any other Realtor trying to hide the obvious amid the voluminous data supporting a bust, will have a well supported legally actionable cause (e.g., suing).

      They should copy and date stamp everything this idiot posts and use it against him later.

    16. Patch Tuesday July 29th, 2006 4:34 pm

      My name is Patch Tuesday and I would like to surrender for my crimes against the real estate industry.

      I am guily of being a Housing Bubble Blogger, and I have singlehandedly collapsed the Southern Maryland real estate market by giving truthful daily reports of the housing meltdown taking place while our local real estate agents smile and continue to insist that buying homes in this market is a great thing!

      I would like to serve my jail time in Arizona, because I hear that have you have tents for jail cells, get to eat bologna sandwiches and other treats providing they do not exceed a cost of .95 cents per day, and best of all, the fact that I would get to wear pink underwear while I am incarcerated turns me on immensely…

    17. Pazuzu July 29th, 2006 4:56 pm

      “I’m a flying monkey, cheep cheep ook ook!

      I love Phoenix, there are so many empty houses into which I can scratch my way in and hide from the daytime sun.

      Lately at night I am trying to teach my poor realtor friends how to make a living like a flying monkey. We go up on the roofs of the empty houses and jump off flying into the night to pick fruit in the darkness.

      Many of them are having trouble saving up for the little Flying monkey hats and wing transplants, so if you can donate some money to the NAR that would be wonderful, thank you.

      Cheep Cheep Ook Ook!”

    18. iwtoll July 29th, 2006 5:06 pm

      Love it. Love every word of it. Expect more as the bursting of the greatest bubble in history unfolds. These realtors put a lot of people into homes they couldn’t afford, with toxic loans that they won’t be able to handle — they run into these people at the supermarket and the playground, and they have to endure their furious stares… The realtors will have to find someone to blame, a scapegoat, somewhere to deflect the blame. Some will come after the bubble blogs, like this guy. But all they will do is increase traffic to the bubble blog sites, helping us get the message out. The more vitriolic their attacks, the more people will realize we are right. Keep it coming, Bloodhound!

    19. iwtoll July 29th, 2006 5:29 pm

      I particularly like this one:

      “By the way, did you know that I’m a Realtor. I work in these towns every day with real live buyers and real live sellers. Do you want to bet that you can out-bet me on the future of the real estate market in the Valley of the Sun? How much would you care to put at risk?”

      Realtors know immediate market conditions better than anyone — who’s buying, what’s selling, what neighborhoods are hot and which are not. As for the overall direction of the market, longer term, they are generally pretty clueless. Look no further than the past 12 months, when realtors all over the nation were telling people to buy quick or get priced out. Now how did that investment look? The direction of the market is an economic question, an investment issue, and in my experience, your average realtor is not only kind of clueless, but doesn’t even grasp basic economic arguments for or against appreciating home prices. The best realtor is the straight shooter who has been doing it a long time and seen one (or preferably two) downturns. So, yes, I would care to bet against you on the Phoenix market.

      Let me clue you in about something. A rising population does not equal rising home prices. Home prices will rise when demand grows faster than supply. When supply grows faster than demand, the reverse happens. You do the math.

    20. Garth Farkley July 29th, 2006 5:44 pm

      I expect a correction. My arguments would obviously be lost on somone who compares me to a sewer-dwelling nazi.

      But if I’m wrong I’ll be happy to admit it. Will you?

    21. Randy July 29th, 2006 5:49 pm

      :the assembled Brown Shirts pile on

      This sort of argument is known as Godwin’s rule…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

      “Godwin observed that people had increasingly begun to compare anyone and anything they mildly disliked with Hitler and/or Fascism.”

    22. truth_is_I July 29th, 2006 6:02 pm

      AZ is a fly-over state. AZ is best viewed from 20,000 feet on a flight to California or NY.

      Anyone who touts Phoenix as a paradise hasn’t seen the world too much.

      Try La Jolla or San Francisco for a change. Now THAT is paradise. La Jolla, CA is PRIME. San Francisco is PRIME also -lots of culture and history -unlike icky Phoenix and their McMansion-Ranch-Burger-100-degree-frying-pan-wal-mart-paradise.

    23. Greg Swann July 29th, 2006 6:27 pm

      Don’t be shy, gentlemen. There’s plenty to go around. And what fool would think of you as Brown Shirts or flying monkeys when only 170 of you have swooped in so far today?

    24. Garth Farkley July 29th, 2006 7:10 pm

      Just remember, Greg, the internet is forever. Some of us will be right and some will be wrong. I acknowledge the possibility of my own error. In my experience humility is generally a mark of wisom.

      You, however, set yourself up as an icon of certitude. Good luck with it. Time will certainly tell.

      Did you ever notice when people come back from Vegas you hear a lot about who won? People don’t come back and brag about blowing the college fund. Just human nature.

      But, I’m putting a note in Outlook. I’ll Google this site in July ’07 and see if you’re still crowing. Or still here.

      If I’m wrong I’ll admit it. Since you’ve set out the challenge I’d expect you to do the same. I know it’s highly unlikely and all, seeing as how you can tell the future and everything. But you have made it clear that you people should publicly acknowledge their errors.

    25. Greg Swann July 29th, 2006 7:38 pm

      > Since you’ve set out the challenge I’d expect you to do the same.

      I always do. I don’t love to be proved wrong, but I don’t hate it. Being wrong is how one learns to be right more often.

      But: I have not made any predictions about dates. I don’t know that this slowdown will be over in 12 months. The case I argue for here and generally is that the Phoenix residential real estate market has a great future in the long-run. The run up in values from 06/04 to 012/05 was a temporary anomaly, as is this slowdown. The long-run history of the Phoenix market has been excellent, as will be the area’s long-run future. If you like, I’ll send you a listing for a reasonably priced house suburban home, the kind of property that attracts premium tenants. You can drop me an email any time you want to kick yourself for not having bought it.

    26. Mort July 29th, 2006 8:42 pm

      Mort: My name is Mort and I am a housing bubble blogger.

      Group: Hi Mort.

      Mort: I had a relapse three days ago when I left a comment on a bubble blog that stated that Phoenix, AZ is going to be ground zero for the biggest housing bust in recorded history.

      Group: That’s okay Mort, we’re here for you.

      Mort: Yeah, thanks. The problem is that I really believe these comments I make, what with the rampant speculation and overbuilding of the last few years.

      Group: We know, we have the same problem.

      Mort: Well, what should I do about it?

      Group: Well, it’s okay for you to have these feelings Mort, it’s just, well, you can’t discuss your apprehension in public, you could cause a panic that could lead to a worldwide depression or something. You see that now, don’t you?

      Mort: Yes, I understand, I must learn to be more careful.;-)

    27. Stanky Bonch July 29th, 2006 9:50 pm

      It’s really not even worth debating whether the Phoenix real estate bubble is bursting, because everyone knows that those 50,000 houses aren’t going to sell. 50,000!

      But Bloodhound, it is worth saying that you have misled people, you continue to mislead people and, if you really are going to stay in Phoenix your entire life, the angry stares of the people who blew their families’ financial futures in reliance on your lies will follow you wherever you go.

    28. Robert Cot July 29th, 2006 9:52 pm

      I was wondering if the Arizona Republic would be interested in running a story in the Real Estate Section over this little difference of opinion.

      “Local Realtor? reiiterates claim that anyone who dares believe Phoenix houses are overpriced is a Brownshirt Nazi. Greg Swann, ABR, CBR, CRS, E-Pro, GRI, Realtor? and Designated Broker for BloodhoundRealty.com again repeated his description of internet bloggers that are asserting that there is a housing bubble in the Greater Phoenix are were “Brown Shirts or flying monkeys.” Attempts to contact Mr. Swann at his brokerage went unanswered but representatives of the JDl were quick to…”

      Mr. Swann you’ve clearly violated both the ethical guidelines of your profession and the bounds of decent human behavior. It really is time to let Phonecians in general know just what your views are. An article would give you a chance to defend your repeated character assinations. A letter writing campaign to the Op-Ed pages would also work as the editors upon recieving hundreds of submissions from all over the country would certainly result in a requst for you to comment. Worst would be the insulted parties being forced to buy advertising space where you would be afforded no voice. Of course there’s always peer review where the local board of fellow Real Estate professionals can be calleed upon to rule on your ethical behavior and how it reflects on them. Then there’s the alternative, use this as a learning experience and apologize for calling me and the many others out there Brownshirts.

    29. mike July 29th, 2006 10:20 pm

      Oh, for Pete’s sake, Greg, FACE THE FACTS! Denial doesn’t help your credibility.

      You’re doing a terrific impression of the deck hand on the Titanic telling everyone that the 30 degree list to the port side is really nothing to worry about.

    30. winjr July 29th, 2006 11:16 pm

      “I’ll send you a listing for a reasonably priced house suburban home, the kind of property that attracts premium tenants. You can drop me an email any time you want to kick yourself for not having bought it.”

      Leave it to a Realtor to, with each successive post, consistently find the lowest common denominator, an achievement that my profession (attorney – and CPA) can only aspire. Nicely done.

      Phoenix may or may not have a bright future in the long run. Whether it does, or does not, is irrelevant for those who believe that Phoenix’s one year rate of appreciation was massively disproportionate to the underlying economic fundamentals of incomes and rents. The skyrocketing inventory and dramatic decline in sales which followed does not portend a correction that bottoms at 4%. The correction will almost certainly be considerably deeper, and I need add nothing more to this blog entry to support that observation, other than what has already been contributed.

      Instead, I would rather focus on the fallacy so often relied upon the Gen-X generation to ensure their fotunes, i.e. that my Baby Boomer generation will drive a significant demographic shift.

      Ain’t gonna happen.

      Do some research. The median boomer has saved just $50,000 for retirement. Heck, that barely buys you a decent SUV!

      By the year 2017, social security and medicare outlays will exceed inflows, essentially bankrupting the system, which will in all liklihood lead to decreased benefits. In order for the Federal Government to pay the Social Security and Medicare benefits YOU’VE been promised, it would have been necessary 7 MONTHS AGO to have increased all social security and medicare taxes by 137%, and to hold those rates in perpetuity. (Which basically means that your generation won’t be gettin’ any. Sorry.)

      Pensions? What pensions? The traditional defined benefit plan has been all but phased out by corporate America, replaced by 401(k) plans to which we either woefully contribute, or tap for home equity purposes. (Hah. And you thought we’ve been just HELOC’ing our way through Best Buy.)

      The gazillions of dollars that we were to have inherited from the Greatest Generation has been largely a fiction, a good portion of which has already been spent, and an even greater portion which will be lost to soaring medical and nursing home costs.

      The national savings rate has, for the last 13 months, been negative. Either your generation is being exceedingly imprudent, or mine, or both. Mine, right?

      Well, I could go on and on, but you get the picture, no?

      In other words, within the next 20 years, this nation will be shocked (SHOCKED, I tell ‘ya) at the number of boomers who will have been constrained to work until the day they die. It would be unwise to expect the boomers to drive ANY so-called retirement haven, any more so than what has already been experienced via the preceding generation which, having lived through the Great Depression, actually understood the value of saving.

    31. Russ July 30th, 2006 12:03 am

      “We’re at a seven month absorption rate right now. Not great, not awful, and only that high because there are so many loosely-motivated sellers.”

      Greg, On Monday, August 1st, please post the ARMLS Active and Active w/ Cont. Total, as well as the Sold total with COE between 7/1/06 and 7/31/06*. Then, we can put the Act/AWC number over the Sold number, and see if it the quotient is seven.

      *Use the MLS’s somewhat inaccurate numbers…usually the number Sold with a closed escrow exceeds the actual number of completed/recorded transactions, but hey, no system is perfect.

    32. [...] The BubbleBrains swooped in en masse today, having only just now discovered my 21 reasons to bank on the Phoenix real estate market. Courage, confidence and competence are often found together in a solitary soul, but cowardice, cowering and impotence — these are the attributes of character of men who run in packs. I am more than libertarian enough to let them go to hell in their own way, but it seems only common courtesy to point the way. So I sent them hither and thither — blithering Bubbleheads lathered up into a dither. Now that’s just good, clean fun. [...]

    33. iwtoll July 30th, 2006 12:29 am

      “Courage, confidence and competence are often found together in a solitary soul, but cowardice, cowering and impotence — these are the attributes of character of men who run in packs.”

      Awesome, positively Churchillian rejoinder!

      I congratulate you on setting yourself apart from all the rest of the realtors, developers, flippers, politicians on the take, and other assorted creatures of the Real Estate complex. Unlike the rest of that pack of cowering, cowardly, and impotent creatures, you, Mr. Swann, have have taken up the mantle of the courageous, confident, and competent libertarian — brave enough to stand up on the rooftop of one of those deserted condo complexes and shout to the world: “Buy now or get priced out forever!”

    34. panicearly July 30th, 2006 3:30 am

      Greg,
      Hang in there, and don`t let all these bubble head, brownshirt, american hating, godless, cut and run, evil doers nazis, distract you from converting them into happy home owners.
      think about the long term, they are all potential clients. they`ll be back and be begging to find a home, albiet for pennies on the dollar, say in 2015. hang tough bro
      panicearly

    35. Short-CTX July 30th, 2006 4:26 am

      “they`ll be back and be begging to find a home, albiet for pennies on the dollar, say in 2015. hang tough bro”

      Pennies on the dollar? The way the Valley consumes water, I think a few cases of Aquafina will probably work just as well in 10 years. Too bad the same can’t be said for air.

    36. David in JAX July 30th, 2006 5:08 am

      I love the list of 21. This is the exact same list that every city in Florida published to explain why the bubble will not pop in Florida. There are two very interesting things about the list.
      1. All of these items are more true of the major cities in Florida than of Phoenix.
      2. The June RE sales numbers are showing massive declines across all of the major cities in Florida. Prices are dropping and inventory is rising.

      The overvaluation of the Phoenix RE market was picked up by the experts over a year ago. Now it’s even laughed at on the CNN & Fox News Sunday morning shows. With this type of main stream exposure to the entire country, RE agents in Phoenix would be better served to tell the truth about the market and explain how they can use their experience in finding a home that will not lose as much value. People are watching the market very closely. When things pick up and it becomes a true buyers market, they will be going with the honest professionals and not the scam artists who will do an say anything for a buck.

    37. David Jones July 30th, 2006 5:29 am

      Interesting post Mr. Swann and interesting volume of replies. While I agree that the housing market seems fairly robust at the moment, many of the things these individuals are saying seem to bear mulling over. I have a few questions that would set my mind at ease:

      1. What makes you so certain that the majority of individuals who are re-selling at the moment are “loosely motivated” as you say? It seems that this housing run-up has featured a lot of speculation from “flippers” who bought as an investment and plan on selling for a profit. While they may be “loosely motivated” at the moment and waiting for that big bite, if housing prices were to go into a multi-month slump and those investors faced the possibility of going into the red, wouldn’t they quickly turn into “desperately motivated”?

      2. You acknowledge that there has been an “anamoly” of growth during the past 15 months. However, many homes have nearly doubled in price during the past 15 months to arrive at their current price. If these past 15 months have been anomolous and we are seeing a correction of the market, wouldnt this correction, be, err, rather sever with some homes losing nearly half their value?

      3. How long will it take for this correction to finish correcting itself? It appears that there is a massive volume of inventory with more coming on the market every day?

    38. Patch Tuesday July 30th, 2006 6:22 am

      Greg Swann July 29th, 2006 6:27 pm – Don’t be shy, gentlemen. There’s plenty to go around. And what fool would think of you as Brown Shirts or flying monkeys when only 170 of you have swooped in so far today?

      Wow, imagine if there were a couple million of us, and we formed a professional association, and started paying dues, and running tv commercials, and lobbying Congress, and telling the FED what to do with interest rates, and schoozing politicians for a week every year in D.C…

      What would you call us then?

    39. Patch Tuesday July 30th, 2006 6:53 am

      If 170 Bubble Bloggers can topple the U.S housing market, just imagine what a couple million of us could do?

      Jesus, with those numbers, we could create a fake economy and convince people to start selling to each other houses at ever higher prices until everyone ran out of money, except us.

      Wait, isn’t that what the real estate industry did? Did we miss the boat?

    40. Goddess July 30th, 2006 8:50 am

      Live by the sword, die by the sword. I say up the interest rates. They have been low for too long. Long live bubble bloggers ! This is what ya get when ya screw with Americans JP Getty.

    41. Greg Swann July 30th, 2006 9:00 am

      > that those 50,000 houses aren’t going to sell.

      That’s correct. A substantial number of those listings will expire or be cancelled.

      > But Bloodhound, it is worth saying that you have misled people, you continue to mislead people and, if you really are going to stay in Phoenix your entire life, the angry stares of the people who blew their families’ financial futures in reliance on your lies will follow you wherever you go.

      This is incorrect. I never lie, nor even shade the truth. Our clients love us because we always play it straight. Many of them are much wealthier because they took our advice.

    42. Greg Swann July 30th, 2006 9:11 am

      > Greg, On Monday, August 1st, please post the ARMLS Active and Active w/ Cont. Total, as well as the Sold total with COE between 7/1/06 and 7/31/06*.

      We do this every month, using Active, not AWC or Pending listings, on the third or fourth business day of the new month (to give people time to correct errors), at the same time that we do the Market Basket numbers. I’ll make sure to post July’s implied absorption rate for the full Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service.

    43. Dave July 30th, 2006 9:34 am

      Now that the housing market has or is slowing realtors are going to be hard up for a sale. Some may lose their jobs and if building starts to slow the construction workers will lose their jobs as well as mortage brokers and so on down the line. So who is going to buy these houses?

    44. Chris July 30th, 2006 9:52 am

      First of all 33% of the “job market” in Phoenix is related to housing, as Neil Cavuto just said, “now that housing stinks” what are you going to do? Housing stinks around the country and the stench is coming from Phoenix/Scottsdale. It is stupid to live in Phoenix which is a million degrees in the summer, even more stupid to live in Scottsdale and overpay.

      Phoenix is a complete train wreck at this point, if it were a stock, it would be the best short ever. Phoenix is getting pounded, and nothing will stop it, until home prices reach the level they were in 1997. There are now close to 60k unwanted, not needed crap boxes in the dumpster called Phoenix, by the end of the year, you will be looking at close to 100k. They should take all those homes out off the 10 and bulldoze those, because no one will ever be living in them, Phoenix/Scottsdale is now a superfund site, not since 3 mile island has a city had this much unwanted inventory.

    45. Greg Swann July 30th, 2006 9:52 am

      > What makes you so certain that the majority of individuals who are re-selling at the moment are “loosely motivated” as you say?

      First-hand experience and peering into the MLS. The surge in inventory started about September of 2005, and, from the beginning, I had the strong impression that many of the sellers were owner-occupants looking to cash out at the top of the market. When I show, I see a lot of homes that are not market-ready. A significant number of homes aren’t even available to be shown.

      > It seems that this housing run-up has featured a lot of speculation from “flippers” who bought as an investment and plan on selling for a profit.

      I do not have this impression. Certainly most of the homes I’m showing (and most of those I represent) are owner-occupied. I have investors with homes for sale right now, but none at fire-sale prices. To the contrary, my investors are doing very well.

      For what it’s worth, most mainstream media reports on the Phoenix real estate market are factually dubious, at best. A big chunk of my effort in this weblog consists of debunking the real estate pages of the Republic.

      Do you want to see the wave in real numbers? Our May Market Basket report documents how completely normal our market is on the buyer’s side. June’s sales: 7209 properties sold in 67 days on average. June 2003: 7409 properties in 67 days on average. Many of the people who have swooped in here are badly behaved (how utterly awful of me to point this out, having seen it all over the place), but, much worse, they’re badly informed.

      > You acknowledge that there has been an “anomaly” of growth during the past 15 months. However, many homes have nearly doubled in price during the past 15 months to arrive at their current price. If these past 15 months have been anomalous and we are seeing a correction of the market, wouldn’t this correction, be, err, rather sever with some homes losing nearly half their value?

      Hide and watch. You’re timing is wrong. The boom was from 06/04 to 09/05, with the peak in values coming (from our numbers) in 12/05. Through 06/06, the homes we track have given back 4% from that peak. Values were up marginally in June for Market Basket homes. Will they go down from here? Possibly. Will they go down much? I doubt it. If you subtract the loosely-motivated sellers — the ones who will stay put if they don’t get their price — the Metropolitan Phoenix resale market may be close to being balanced. Certainly the days on market for the homes that sell argues that it is.

      > How long will it take for this correction to finish correcting itself?

      Ask me after it ends. No one can predict the future, no matter how loudly they they shout, how much they swear or how big a crowd they run in. I have what I consdier to be sound reasons for believing the long-run future of the Pheonix real estate market to be bright.

    46. eyefo July 30th, 2006 10:19 am

      Wow, Gregg, you must be living in a different Phoenix than the one I’m reading (have read) about. If you don’t have an “investor get rich quick” problem in Phoenix, why is the inventory at 50,000?

      You might want to read this.

      http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0730emotional0730.html

      BTW, are the flying monkeys Nazis? I couldn’t quite tell since I remember their little jackets are green and not brown.

    47. sam July 30th, 2006 11:04 am

      Gregg

      You could easily attract a lot of attention to yourself by defending the indefensible. You should give that some thought
      if you plan to stay in the RE biz.

    48. Moving Elsewhere July 30th, 2006 11:09 am

      I sold out of CA and moved to AZ, have been renting because of the overpriced trash on the market. I am sooo glad I didn’t buy because one year in this place is one year too much. I was talking to a group of snowbirds last week that said they are not going to buy here because of the ever increasing temps and start wintering elsewhere. The state and county services are horrible, illegals grow in numbers daily, the water quality is terrible, hot beyond belief, crime! serial killers, etc.. etc.. Keep Dreaming, Phoenix is a great place to live..

    49. Russ July 30th, 2006 1:34 pm

      “We do this every month, using Active, not AWC”

      That’s understandable, whatever you can do to reduce the inventory numbers. No one would put something in AWC and still rack up Days on Market if anything that resembled a solid deal was actually in place. Heck, even many pendings will never actually sell. I’ll post the complete numbers.

    50. Greg Swann July 30th, 2006 4:24 pm

      > No one would put something in AWC and still rack up Days on Market if anything that resembled a solid deal was actually in place.

      A lot of agents do it out of habit. I leave them out because, like the Pendings, AWC listings are not available to be marketed, and what is being measured is the ratio of homes on the market to sold homes.

      However: There are 944 AWC listings right now, a negligible quantity compared to the actives, so, if you want raisins in our oatmeal, we’ll make a special bowl just for you.

      Incidentally, there are 6457 homes listed as Sale Pending. Some of those could be the equivalent of an AWC-C with the clock stopped.

      > I’ll post the complete numbers.

      If you can run listings for yourself, why ask me to do it for you?

    51. Dave July 30th, 2006 6:49 pm

      Comment redirected. Plagiarized in total from here.

    52. David July 30th, 2006 7:53 pm

      The inevitable decline from the speculative mania that is the housing bubble is here. It will be ugly

    53. David July 30th, 2006 7:54 pm

      The declining housing market is a reality.

      It’s the Inventory Stupid!

    54. Roy Hursh July 30th, 2006 8:26 pm

      You need to get out of the sun – it is obvious that you are suffering from Heat Stroke. those high numbers you are confusing is not $ Phoenix housing market – it is the Scale on the Thermomater the is off the Scale – SO Lay down get plenty of Water – take asprin for the voices you are hearing in your head – Refrain from any Real Estate Verbage as it is very likely causing you Mental Anguish – Every thing will be Ok in about 10 Years for Phoenix.

    55. Steve-OOO July 30th, 2006 11:49 pm

      Hey swanny,

      You sound real positive. How about you talk to me and my 3 neighbors on my block who have had our homes listed for 6 months. You say your out on the street and you have a feel for the market. You must’ve missed my street. It’s in South Chandler, a little out of the way, but a wonderful community. Trails, a big park, it’s own elementary school and a very very low monthly HOA payment. But, in this normal robust market nobody wants to buy any house in this neighborhood. You don’t think I’m desparate to get out? The 100′s of for sale signs have turned this neighborhood into an surburban ghetto. Sellers dropping their prices left and right. Just a few miles down the road a builder is adding 100′s of new homes even though in neighborhood after neighborhood to there, iventory is rising. Open house and for sale signs litter the roads. Blocks here are now starting to look like the rows of cages at the local dog pound. At least the dogs are cute to look at. The homes here (now that they are dropping in price) don’t look anywhere near attractive any longer. Especially in the heat of summer.

      But since you love this place, give me an offer. Please, I’m effing beggin you! I need out of this house, this neighborhood, this damn City of Chandler. I want to rent until this all boils over!!! Please I just want to sell!!!!!

      Normal market….please! Come ask us sellers whose homes have been on the market more than 4 months what the market is like. There is no market!!! There are no buyers. Illegals, service jobs workers, government workers, and unemployed housing (real estate, construction, mortgage, title etc.etc.) workers cannot afford my home. True, there are decently paid health care workers here but not enough to clear out this excess inventory. The real estate market is dead and the PHX job market (now that housing is bust) will die along with it. What do you think will happen to the price of homes then?

      Swanny, I’ll be waiting for that offer. Don’t make me have to start calling.

      Sincerely,

      A flying monkey

    56. MMAfia July 31st, 2006 5:47 am

      CLEARLY,

      We are entering the “Anger” phase now… they are starting to get MAD MAD MAD… which is a good sign, because it means they are finally getting past the “Denial” phase.

      GET MAD! LET IT OUT so you can continue on the cycle and hit the “Capitulation” phase ASAP.

      My sympathies.

    57. Phil July 31st, 2006 7:04 am

      Housing bubble back on again in 12 months? Strange, they said them same thing about Sydney last year…and the year before… and the year before.

      WHOOPS

      Phil

    58. Gary Anderson July 31st, 2006 7:35 am

      This thread is your “Swann” song Greg? Reno, NV has 6077 houses for sale, and less than 500k people. In fact, in the most preferred housing development we see houses that are padlocked. This is a disaster soon to happen Greg. Inventory is the key. Supply and demand. Phoenix is “toast”, and I don’t just mean the temperature!!!!

    59. Patch Tuesday July 31st, 2006 7:41 am

      Here’s good news from today:

      “State and local officials are investigating a months-long work stoppage that has left about 200 unfinished houses in Casa Grande and Maricopa withering in Arizona’s summer as home buyers wonder whether they’ll ever be able to move in.”

      http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/
      news/articles/0731TurnerDunn0731.html

    60. dagg July 31st, 2006 10:54 am

      Greg,

      if you’re so confident price in AZ will keep going up, why don’t you go and buy up all the houses on sale at Steve-OOO’s street in South Chandler with your overpaid comission. you’ll be a millionaire in no time!!

    61. jerry July 31st, 2006 12:04 pm

      is it true this might be the first time there is a national housing crash?

    62. rdub9000 July 31st, 2006 12:41 pm

      Quotes from Greg.

      “Home prices will plummet. They won’t. ”
      “Will they go down from here? Possibly.”

      “There is no downturn in the Phoenix market.”
      “Through 06/06, the homes we track have given back 4% from that peak.”

      “I never lie, nor even shade the truth”

      They seem self-contradictory to me.
      Having doubts after reading all the postings Greg?
      Good luck in your efforts to spin this thing.

      You may have a point in saying that real estate is a sure thing in the long run. But most folks don’t look past next year (just look at the current savings rate), and I’m sure as hell not going to buy an overpriced house today in hopes to break even in 20 years.

    63. Im educated July 31st, 2006 2:41 pm

      Hmm, let met see… take advice from a realtor who is obviously trying to drum up business and probably has at most a High School education, or look at the economics myself?

      I’d take the second choice.

      Do you know that most realtors are no better educated than a used car salesman? Most people probably don’t know that until they start blogging or speaking. :)

    64. chilipepr August 1st, 2006 6:01 am

      Robert Cote said…

      “”Brown Shirts?”

      Do you have any idea how base and vile this comparison is? ”

      Robert,
      Haven’t you ever heard of “Godwin’s Law”? ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law )

      basically it states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one”

      There is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress.

    65. John Fontaine August 1st, 2006 6:29 am

      Dude, you are a schill for the pump and dump housing scheme played ouyt..worse than the dot.com cheerleaders who blew out a lot of finanically challenged Americans..Here is a little common sense advice for people..Never trust a realtor..they are leeches and cheesy salesman….

    66. I agree with Greg August 1st, 2006 9:01 am

      All you bloggers are wrong an have missed Gregs point. He is right on when he says that most of the folks listing there property for sale are loosely motivated. How motivated can they be if they are still trying to sell their houses at 2005 prices when it is obvious they should be listing their houses as 2002 prices.

      For all you bloggers you’ll know when the sellers are motivated when they start to reduce the price monthly. They’ll forget about trying to make a profit or break even the goal will be to save off foreclosure.

      Greg , you can still make money in this environment, however you will have to shrapen your skills in the area of short sells. That’s if there are any buyers evan at 2002 prices.

    67. dagg August 1st, 2006 10:34 am

      it’s happening now!!

      As Valley home market cools, emotions heat up

      http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0730emotional0730.html#

    68. Melody August 1st, 2006 5:38 pm

      I’m not sure why you like AZ so much… it’s a desert. Prices will plummet like you’ve never imagine. Hold on to your seat, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

    69. fatcats August 1st, 2006 10:38 pm

      I think the scenarios put forward regarding a decline are dead wrong – real estate doesn’t ‘plummet’ like the stock market. There’ll be no dancing in the streets in 1-2 years and picking up property for a song.

      I do think we’re looking a bear market in the face, but in reality you’ll see a decline in real values which relentlessly grinds people down over a period of 5 – 10 years. That is, until all real estate boards are long forgotton, and the mere mention of RE in social gatherings is about as welcome as a barfing wino.

      In a deflationary environment you’ll get real nominal declines (Japan loses 80% over 14 years / Hong Kong loses 60% over 7 years).

      In an inflationary environment you’ll get a modest nominal decline in localized boom markets followed by inflation chewing away at the real value of your ‘investment’ asset for years (US/UK in 79-81 & 89-93). That’s where people point at the charts and say ‘see, it never goes down’ … but your investment is still worth a lot less in real dollars.

      In either event, it won’t be fun whether you’re an owner, landlord or renter, because the overall economy will be in the toilet.

    70. Mish August 1st, 2006 11:22 pm

      If you like, I’ll send you a listing for a reasonably priced house suburban home, the kind of property that attracts premium tenants. You can drop me an email any time you want to kick yourself for not having bought it.

      Buy it yourself
      Report back in two years and see who is kicking himself.

      Better yet, but 10 of them.
      After all it can’t lose.
      Real estate only goes up.

      Mish

    71. Cal August 2nd, 2006 12:38 am

      What % of listings on the MLS are vacant or non-owner occupied? How many listings have an ARM that is resetting, or riskier IO/neg arm loan? How many are behind on their property taxes and/or declared bankruptcy? How many are have been job transferred?

      Answering these questions gives you an idea of how many motivated sellers are out there. I think we can all agree that the traditional selling season was a flop this year, the buyers werent there. How long it takes for them to come back (if they are waiting) or if this is an oversupply condition, only time will tell.

      The resale market is going to have a dogfight with the new home sales market, the builders have been much more aggressive with incentives and pricing. All it takes is for one executive to decide to cut prices on hundreds/thousand or homes, for the resale market that battle has to be fought one house at a time.

    72. mike August 6th, 2006 9:02 am

      The BubbleBrains swooped in en masse today… Courage, confidence and competence are often found together in a solitary soul, but cowardice, cowering and impotence — these are the attributes of character of men who run in packs.

      I can understand the frustration you feel and some of the people who “swooped in” here – especially the mouth-breathing Housing Panic crowd – are certainly located within the lower half of the Bell curve, but to group everyone into the same “cowering, impotent cowards” group is a bit much.

      I guess the lashing out is from stress. It can’t be easy trying to paint a happy face on the Phoenix area real estate situation.

    73. mike August 22nd, 2006 6:39 am

      Phoenix unsold inventory is now in excess of 53k units. That’s up more than 500% from August ’05 and more than 10 months of inventory at the current sale pace.

      Still banking on Phoenix, Greg?

    74. Greg Swann August 22nd, 2006 7:23 am

      Yes, of course. Your numbers are wrong, but I expect you know that. Hyperbolic math is part of the formula. But nothing has changed in the fundamentals that drive the Metropolitan Phoenix real estate market, so I am confident that our long-term future is very bright. Glad you asked.

    75. mike August 22nd, 2006 10:53 am

      Yes, of course. Your numbers are wrong, but I expect you know that.

      My numbers come from here: http://tinyurl.com/kcon4

      Unsold inventory 8/20/06: 53,416 units.
      Sales rate 7/31/06: 5,240 per mo.

      Pls cite your own figures and your sources.

    76. Greg Swann August 22nd, 2006 11:53 am

      “Unsold” is a useless standard. All houses are unsold all the time. The standard to use is available to be purchased–actively listed. There were 46,680 of those Sunday morning. I don’t have time to look right now, but the number will not have changed much. There were 6,101 sales in July, so the implied absorption rate is 7.65 months.

      If you lay down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

    77. mike August 22nd, 2006 3:20 pm

      Pls cite your sources.

    78. Greg Swann August 22nd, 2006 3:29 pm

      > Pls cite your sources.

      Arizona Regional Multiple Listings Service. The two numbers you cited came from two different sources, neither of them reliable.

    79. Laura B. August 23rd, 2006 7:36 pm

      Greg, I’m SO with you all the way and here’s why:

      There are so many people who lack vision, are living in fear, are uneducated and choose to take all of that and put it into anger to someone who is viably optimistic.

      I would bet that the vast majority of these naysayers work in little cubicles and despise what they do. They have no real thoughts of their own and have no one to listen to but the media.

      Well, I was a morning show News Reporter for seven years on major stations throughout the country, and I can’t even begin to tell you the politics behind the media (not just FOX). If everyone took my Grandfather’s advice of, “believe nothing of what you hear and half of what you see,” there wouldn’t be so many dramatic, angry people looking for any little thing in the world to be negative upon.

      There is no doubt in my mind that Phoenix will continue to be one of the best markets in the country. So there are some highs & lows … big deal. Anyone ever hear of cycles? Does anyone have any courage and confidence to think for themselves anymore? Come on, people.

    80. [...] 21 reasons to bank on the Phoenix real estate market… Should serve as a great warning to agents writing about the bubble… Be prepared to take the issue on like Greg or don’t even go there… (and I simply can’t ignore his list of blogs that feed a hungry mind.) [...]

    81. Guy Daley August 27th, 2006 10:23 am

      I left Mesa in 2002. My timing was horrible but I couldn’t bare to stand another summer. I grew up in Phoenix, parent moved down in 1968. She’s still living in the same house. I bought and sold three properties in the metro area. Over the years I’ve seen the quality of life degrade in the metro area most of it has to do with congestion and crime. A lot of short-sighted people live MILES from work and make the daily trek like pilgrims. One property I couldn’t sell back in 1990, couldn’t give it away, had to give it back to mortgage holder. My last property was in Mesa and when I went to the local grocery store, it was like I was visiting a foreign country. I HATE THAT FEELING when I’m actually in the U.S.A. All these trends aren’t going to change. The GREAT HOUSING bubble caused by Greedspin (Greenspan) will retrospectively be seen for what it actually was. It will just take Greg Swann a few years to note this as the statistics make themselves available.

    82. [...] Meanwhile: “Phoenix has been ranked No. 1 in a new study of best relocation destinations.” Who’d a thunk it? Oh, wait… That would be me. It turns out that reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. [...]

    83. [...] I told you so… [...]

    84. mike September 7th, 2006 10:04 pm

      “Phoenix has been ranked No. 1 in a new study…”

      Well, that’s great news. Sales must finally be picking up. And inventories shrinking.

      Right?

    85. Greg Swann September 7th, 2006 10:18 pm

      Prices are stable. Sales are slow. More in the morning — I’m doing August then.

    86. rob September 12th, 2006 11:54 pm

      I think his best comment was the by the way I am a realtor, I know whats going on one… Oh yeah, if your so clairvoyant about the future, why didn’t you take a bunch of options to buy homes, or zero down bs loans and buy 10 homes before the increase? you could have made so much money that you would never have to drive around another obese couple of snowbirds and make chitchat while they discuss the wallpaper on a condo… Did you tell all your clients who were selling 2 or 3 years ago, “hangon, that dump is about to double in price”? NO becuase YOU DIDN’T KNOW, and you don’t know the future now either, you pompous twit.

    87. Guy Daley September 14th, 2006 5:55 pm

      http://biz.yahoo.com/bizwk/060913/db20060912951226.html?.v=1

      That article is entitled, “U.S. Cities with Biggest Inventories”

      In that article is the following paragraph:

      “A year later, the city is feeling the effects of a housing hangover. “I’ve been here 17 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the inventory levels as high as today,” says Robert Rucker of the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service. Phoenix’s housing inventory has in fact nearly quadrupled over a 12-month period — from 11,656 in July, 2005, to 42,449 homes last July — according to data provided by ZipRealty, a Web-based brokerage firm in Emeryville, Calif., that operates in 19 metro areas around the country.”

      My, my, my, and more homes coming on line all the time because the builders thought Phoenix was the road to riches and the housing bubble was everlasting. Well, I’m sure the illegals will get around to buying up all that excess inventory in a neighborhood near you soon! There seems to be no shortage of them!

    88. Guy Daley September 14th, 2006 5:59 pm

      Oh but wait, now that the builders are going to be cutting back like crazy, that means lots and lots of illegals standing on the street corners waiting for there day labor jobs. So maybe the illegals won’t be buying up all that excess inventory after all?

    89. [...] I most sincerely do not hate to say I told you so… [...]

    90. [...] There’s Double-Bubble trouble at 360 Digest and Rain City Guide, with cavitation echoes in San Diego and who knows where else. The ugly truth is, if you resolve to lay down with fleas, you had better be prepared to fight like a dog. The thread at RCG ran to 106 comments, possibly not including some that were deleted. My own best effort at bubble ballistics has only accrued 92 comments, but that may be because I won’t talk to the rude ones. That post was the origin of the “winged monkeys” crack, incidentally. [...]

    91. Guy Daley October 16th, 2006 3:29 pm

      Just WHAT? exactly is the “I Told you so”, in reference to?

      http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?guid=%7B8A9B3C68%2DF82C%2D497D%2D951C%2D6E2D831096F4%7D&source=blq%2Fyhoo&dist=yhoo&siteid=yhoo

      The article is entitled, “Housing slowdown creating ghosttowns.”

      “SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — The housing slowdown has turned some parts of the Phoenix and Las Vegas metropolitan areas into “ghost towns,” where many unsold homes stand empty, Janet Yellen, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, said Monday.”

      “Yellen said that she heard the ominous description from a “major home builder,” who told her that the share of unsold homes in some subdivisions around the two Southwestern cities has topped 80%.”

      My, my, looks like you have a severe case of tunnel vision.

    92. Greg Swann October 16th, 2006 7:12 pm

      > My, my, looks like you have a severe case of tunnel vision.

      You bet. If I wanted information about the San Francisco real estate market, I’d go to an egghead in Phoenix. Where else?

      Get me the names of the subdivisions she’s referring to, and I’ll go take pictures.

      I know of nothing like this. But, then again, I work in Phoenix, so what the heck would I know?

    93. Guy Daley October 17th, 2006 5:45 am

      http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2006-10-16-close-phoenix_x.htm

      “Asking prices in the Phoenix area have dropped about 25% this year, says David Khalaj, an agent at Realty Executives. Existing single-family home sales tumbled 34% in the first nine months of the year compared with the same period last year, and condo sales were off 24%. Construction permits for single-family homes were down 23% through August.”

      Lets put two and two together shall we? Mega layoffs are in store, illegals by the TENS of thousands standing on the street corners, foreclosures, bankruptcies and late payments by the score from people that were conned by realtors into buying at the peak or were just too stupid to see it for what it really was. NOT AN INVESTMENT BUT A PONZI scheme.

      By the way, you know those subdivisions are way out in the fringes like Gilbert and El Mirage. I don’t expect for you to make the 1.5 hour trek, one-way, to go out there and take pictures. No one wants to fight the highway traffic unless its absolutely necessary.

      My oldest brother sold his realty business in North Scottsdale about six months ago. At least he saw the writing on the wall but he’s still stuck with a townhouse in a 55 only community in Carefree. He sunk tens of thousands into it fixing it up. Now just like so many “investors” in the metro area, he’s paying taxes, utilities, association fees, etc, until a bigger idiot comes along to take it off his hands. There just aren’t armies of idiots out there to tap anymore.

      By the way, crime is going to explode from the illegals not having anything to do. That’s another thing, the realtors that are still left, need to learn Spanish so you can cater to the majority of the population. You can boost your sales that way.

    94. Greg Swann October 17th, 2006 7:15 am

      > Asking prices in the Phoenix area have dropped about 25% this year, says David Khalaj, an agent at Realty Executives.

      False. September 06 list prices are down less than 2% from September 05, down 5.1% from the peak.

      Year over year sales figures are dumb. We were in a huge boom last year. 2006 will turn out to be one of the best years in the history of Phoenix real estate, measured by objective standards. It will pale by comparison to 2005, but reports of our demise are greatly exagerrated, as above.

      > By the way, you know those subdivisions are way out in the fringes like Gilbert and El Mirage.

      Name them. If you don’t, I will presume they don’t exist.

      You have no factual defense for the claims you make. Outrageous lies make headlines. This is not news.

    95. Gary Anderson October 17th, 2006 10:17 am

      I am excited because my posts have been deleted by the little man who runs this blog. Not only that, but he is in the midst of one of the greatest real estate crashes in the history of the United States, and is trying to explain it away. You guys remind me of Bush defending Iraq, or of the old Soviets defending their mess. Propaganda comes in many forms. Adios, you are not worth posting to.

    96. Greg Swann October 17th, 2006 10:28 am

      > I am excited because my posts have been deleted by the little man who runs this blog.

      You have had 15 comments published in this weblog under the name Gary Anderson. I only delete for obscentiy or plagiarism, so if you like, you can admit to the one, to the other — or to making up lies to try to score points.

      > trying to explain it away

      Facts are facts. Get used to it.

    97. Guy Daley October 17th, 2006 1:59 pm

      “Janet Yellen, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, said Monday.”

      Yes, I can see why the president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank would like to make outrageous claims so you can correct her.

      Its obvious you don’t read the links I post and I detect more than a little frustration from your responses. Is the crashing metro Phoenix real estate market getting on your nerves? Tired of passing on all those low ball offers? Well buckle your seat belt Greg Swann, the roller coaster is GOING DOWN HILL!!

    98. Guy Daley October 17th, 2006 2:07 pm

      Here is another link to another story where you can call the authors and contributors liars and exaggerators. Its entitled, “Housing Correction Just Getting Started”, and was printed in the New York Sun which I guess is one of those sensationalist papers you find at the checkout.

      http://www.nysun.com/article/41659?page_no=1

    99. Greg Swann October 17th, 2006 4:20 pm

      I’m not frustrated. I’m not anything. Do you think you’re the first person to come here spewing unsubstantiated claims. I have facts on my side. You echo hyperbole. Big deal.

      Note: You have not named your hypothetical subdivisions.

      You prefer lies to the truth. This is not new.

    100. Gary Anderson October 17th, 2006 5:33 pm

      From bubbletracking.blogspot.com

      Population 2006: 4 million
      Listing per population ratio 1/30 1:123
      Listing per population ratio 4/30 1:90
      Listing per population ratio 8/13 1:75

      1/30: 32,512 (5,260)___1/05: (9,360)
      2/28: 36,176 (5,455)___2/05: (7,935)
      3/31: 39,852 (7,265)___3/05: (10,035)
      4/30: 44,290 (5,980)___4/05: (8,735)
      5/31: 47,187 (6,870)___5/05: (10,425)
      6/30: 50,974 (5,460)___6/05: (11,545)
      7/10: 50,167
      7/20: 51,557
      7/31: 52,662 (5,545)___7/05: 11,656 (10,200)
      8/10: 52,701
      8/20: 53,416
      8/31: 53,253 (5,685)___8/05: 15,042 (10,700)
      9/10: 53,806
      9/20: 54,269
      9/30: 54,731 (4,875)___9/05: 18,799 (9,815)
      10/10: 54,392
      10/16: 54,286

      Record high inventory: 43,000 (apprx 1995).
      Arizona Republic 6/10/06

    101. Greg Swann October 17th, 2006 7:34 pm

      > 10/16: 54,286

      There are 47,602 Active listings in ARMLS at this moment.

      Your “argument” would be without merit even if you didn’t run around scrounging up bogus numbers and specious claims. Sales prices are down 6% from the peak. Fact. That’s not great, but it’s not awful. Prices have been essentially flat for the last three months. Fact. We may well have worse news in the future, but you cannot cause bad things to happen by telling spooky, made-up stories.

      > my posts have been deleted by the little man who runs this blog.

      This is still a lie. I will regard you as a liar until you retract it.

    102. Gary Anderson October 18th, 2006 2:53 pm

      Well how about this scary story from Janet Yellen, SF fed governor. She says in many subdivisions in Phoenix and Vegas there are over 80 percent empty houses, ie ghost towns. What could be spookier than that?? What is wrong with this picture? Because of California, the auto industry is suffering big time. Big ticket items are being left upon the shelves. That is spooky as well.

      Greg, I did have a few posts in this thread that appear to be missing. If they are in a thread I cannot find, I apologize.

    103. Greg Swann October 18th, 2006 5:58 pm

      > Well how about this scary story from Janet Yellen

      This came up the other day. Get me the names of the subdivisions and I’ll go take pictures. In the mean time, I don’t believe it. It’s just more silly headline grabbing by someone with zero first-hand, factual experience.

      > Greg, I did have a few posts in this thread that appear to be missing. If they are in a thread I cannot find, I apologize.

      And I can’t swear something wasn’t eaten by Akismet, so we’ll call it even.

    104. Gary Anderson October 18th, 2006 7:42 pm

      I just don’t believe that the governor of the fed would put something in a speech that could impact the markets and the value of the dollar that was not true. So I believe she has good sources. And she is an inflation dove, knowing that houseprices are fragile in the bay area where she lives.

    105. Russ October 20th, 2006 1:55 pm

      While I am confident that there are large swaths of vacancies in the newest Pinal County subdivisions, I have been to subdivisions with substantial vacancies that are not quite as fringe as Pinal. Sierra Montana in Surprise is a large subdivision where one can find streets with virtually no residents. And these are not houses under construction or even on the same street as houses under construction. Empty streets and driveways, no blinds or curtains, and other obvious signs of vacancy. 80% vacancy in this subdivision? No. 90% vacancy on many streets in parts of this subdivision? Yes.

    106. Greg Swann October 20th, 2006 2:59 pm

      > Sierra Montana in Surprise is a large subdivision where one can find streets with virtually no residents.

      Interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever shown in there.

      Right now: 146 active listings with 107 ADOM, 2 AWC with 143 ADOM, 13 Sale Pending with 110 ADOM, 89 sold since 10/20/05 with 71 ADOM — all MLS isted, of course.

      Of those, 134 are/were listed as vacant, 58 of the Actives, 1 AWC, 6 pending, and 69 of the solds. Interesting but not surprising that the vacants sell so well.

      Here’s the kicker, though. Per the HOA, the community will be 2,586 homes when built out with 2,380 built so far.

      It’s possible that there are many homes for which the sale from the builder has closed but which are simultaneously vacant and not MLS listed, but that doesn’t seem very reasonable based on these numbers.

      I’ll take a closer look the next time I’m out there.

    107. Russ October 20th, 2006 11:35 pm

      >>>Of those, 134 are/were listed as vacant, 58 of the Actives, 1 AWC, 6 pending, and 69 of the solds. Interesting but not surprising that the vacants sell so well.
      Here’s the kicker, though. Per the HOA, the community will be 2,586 homes when built out with 2,380 built so far.

      Perhaps a bunch are under a no sale for 1 year restriction. But many appear to be unsuccessful rentals.

      I think that I was in part of the Beazer section when I noticed the lack of vehicles and other signs of life on a weekend afternoon. And since I believe that I am the only person in Maricopa County who actually garages both of his family vehicles, I take no street/driveway parking to mean no residents. Of course, some sections are more occupied. But I suspect that many, many of those are rented out.

    108. Cathleen Collins October 22nd, 2006 7:32 am

      I’m certainly not a Sierra Montana neighborhood expert, but I have found myself going back there over the past few weeks to show homes to a particular client. Her problem with the subdivision is the back yards are too small for her taste. So why do we keep on going back? It’s because of the children there. You see, she is an at-home day-care provider who recently moved here from Texas. She and her mother and her sister have driven around Surprise looking for neighborhoods where she can see, during the hours when children are out playing in the neighborhood, enough quantity of children to support her business. So, Sierra Montana is one of the neighborhoods we keep going to.

      So Russ, my anecdotal evidence is the exact opposite of your anecdotal evidence. The point is, we are both depending on personal observations (actually, mine is a client’s observation, which I think holds more weight than yours, since it’s free market-driven, unless you’re an investor or in some other way have to put your money where your mouth is) about a particular neighborhood in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. But what in the world do two anecdotal observations about Sierra Montana have to do with serving counterpoint or ballasting the idea that Phoenix is a growing, thriving American city? Instead, how about considering the employment numbers here? Or how about the cost of living which is still clearly more affordable than the coastal areas of our giant neighbor to the west, for one, and then there are the states lining up along the cold-coast on the East. And for every one who yacks about our hot summer, there are so many more of us who ask “can you spell a-i-r c-o-n-d-i-t-i-o-n-i-n-g”? So don’t even get started on comparing a couple of searingly hot months to the icy winds off the Great Lakes!

      Phoenix might not be for you but it is for me. As result, I’ll live here and prosper, a prosperity that has to do with what so many of us believe is living in an ideal location, whether we’re in the real estate business or not (I’ve loved Phoenix since I first set foot down here in 1978).

    109. Joey Joe Joe Junior Shapadoo October 22nd, 2006 7:01 pm

      How long before Greg acts like a man and admits that things aren’t going well in paradise?

      “Huge supply of houses keeps prices down”

      http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1022homeprices1022.html

      Oh, sorry, forgot that contrary opinions are blasphemy on this blog.

    110. PHX seller October 22nd, 2006 9:38 pm

      Greg

      Give up the fight. Admit that the market is shot and move on. Please take only listings from your past clients and try and help them ease thier pain.

      You are just a foot soldier, don’t ruin your character holding the party line. If you have to make a buck go do it. Sooner or later you will have to admit you were dead wrong or an idiot.

    111. Russ October 26th, 2006 2:20 pm

      RE: Sierra Montana subdivision

      >>>So why do we keep on going back? It’s because of the children there. You see, she is an at-home day-care provider who recently moved here from Texas. She and her mother and her sister have driven around Surprise looking for neighborhoods where she can see../

      That is great. But I have lived in Surprise for five years, and have watched many new subdivisions rise. Very few had large numbers of vacant houses a year after they were built until the last year and a half. This new subdivision is just one example. There are many vacant houses in slightly more established neighborhhoods throughout Surprise. Also, my cousin and her children are renting an enormous house in that subdivision for $1,000. That speaks volumes on supply and demand.

      >>>Or how about the cost of living which is still clearly more affordable than the coastal areas of our giant neighbor to the west, for one, and then there are the states lining up along the cold-coast on the East. And for every one who yacks about our hot summer, there are so many more of us who ask “can you spell a-i-r c-o-n-d-i-t-i-o-n-i-n-g”? So don’t even get started on comparing a couple of searingly hot months to the icy winds off the Great Lakes!

      I never mentioned weather or COL. If comfort was my biggest priority, I would live elsewhere from June through September. As for COL, since I did not buy at hyper-inflated 2005 prices (although I did sell at them), housing is a reasonable cost here for me. Compared to two places where I have lived and still frequent, I find that life in the Phoenix area is generally more expensive than the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, but less expensive than the Westwood section of Los Angeles.

    112. Guy Daley November 7th, 2006 5:20 am

      More articles about the collapse in Phoenix:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/realestate/07land.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&ref=business&adxnnlx=1162901189-MkMMe2ZWC+atZnnYFYTjHQ

      Kiss quality of life goodbye in Phoenix, with the crime, congestion and invasion from Mexico that gets worse with each passing day. Want to go to a lake? No problem just pay $10 for access to Sahuaro Lake. Phoenix? Every bit as bad as L.A. Definitely a nice place to retire to.

    113. Guy Daley November 7th, 2006 5:14 pm

      http://www.thestreet.com/_dm/newsanalysis/banking/10320324.html

      This article is entitled, “Mortgage swoon slams H&R”.

      It goes on to say, “The Kansas City, Mo., financial services outfit cited continued pricing pressures in the mortgage market as well as lower-than-expected originations. H&R Block said Option One will close 12 branch offices in the next four months in a bid to bring capacity in line with volume.”

      Gosh, why would they do that if there was just a “minor” correction in the real estate market?

      I wonder what realtors’ definition is of “minor”?

    114. Guy Daley November 7th, 2006 5:19 pm

      http://www.thestreet.com/newsanalysis/banking/10319691.html

      “Third-quarter profit at New Century Financial (NEW – news – Cramer’s Take – Rating) got cut in half, as the mortgage lender to people with poor credit histories saw a decline in loan production.”

      I just don’t know but it seems to me that, “CUT IN HALF” suggests something more than a minor correction to me. But what do I know, I suppose a 50% drop in profits could be MINOR.

    115. Guy Daley November 8th, 2006 7:45 am

      http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/1108biz-pinalresponse1108.html

      This article is entitled, “Lack of affordibility worries prospective buyers.”

      “A number of people logged on to http://www.pinal.azcentral. com to share their opinions and experiences as the county’s median price of a resale home dipped below $200,000 and the number of homes sold declined by nearly half. Here are some comments posted last week:”

      I just don’t understand, when will these stupid newsreporters begin to understand that 50% is a minor figure and not worth reporting. Don’t Worry, Be HAPPY! Greg Swann says, “any kind of correction will be MINOR”, and as we all know minor can include a figure up to 50%!

    116. Greg Swann November 8th, 2006 7:54 am

      > Greg Swann says, “any kind of correction will be MINOR”

      I’ve never said anything of the sort. What I said is that the long-term future of Phoenix real estate is bright. I don’t make short term predictions. I do present the facts as evinced by the marketplace.

      Why don’t people take bubbleheads seriously? Because they behave ridiculously.

      Do not attribute words to me or to anyone else. It’s not difficult to quote — as I am quoting you here — provided you aren’t attempting to get away with a straw man argument.

    117. Nancy November 19th, 2006 5:01 pm

      I regard the housing market like any other commodity, as a cycle with “boom” and “bust” periods. I am one of those who refused to purchase a home when they were overpriced. I do not regret it, because my mortgage and expenses to purchase the house I rent would be double. Financially it doesn’t make sense – the reduction in my tax liability would be a small fraction of the monthly outlay. However, I am still a prospective buyer. I will not, however, pay for the car, new furniture, vacation, etc. that was purchased with a cash-out refi in 2005. Houses ARE selling. Do you want to sell your house in Mountain Vista Ranch? Ask $240K, not $280-300K. In Kingswood Park, you will sell your 1,200 sqft. house for $180K, but no longer for the $235-250K of early 2005. These neighborhoods are in Surprise. I am fortunate enough that I have not been priced out of the market; rather I have made a conscious decision not to overpay. No matter what is being sold, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Real estate sales and prices, as with all commodities, exists in an ever-changing environment.

      Thank you for all the different points of view, it has been interesting and enlightening to say the very least.

    118. [...] That’s as may be. It’s corrupt and demented, but it’s the way things are done here — and pretty much everywhere, in one sleazy way or another. What’s interesting to me is that the West Valley map I made last week is already dated. And: It would seem that the Phoenix real estate market is quite a bit healthier than some people are willing to allow… [...]

    119. When Bloggers Attack at Livium-the blog November 27th, 2006 10:21 am

      [...] Finally, I realized that this debate had been raging on, on and off, for months – and that each side seems to take a small amount of pleasure in agitating the other until something like yesterday breaks out into the open. [...]

    120. phoenix sucks December 5th, 2006 12:33 am

      Moved to the valley a year ago. I rent and will continue to rent until one of the following happens: house prices drop or I get a 50% raise. To buy now would be like throwing money in the toilett. No thanx.
      BTW, Greg: you’re a fool driven to attract clients that you can prey on to sell an overprice POS house. Bastard you.

    121. mike December 30th, 2006 3:51 am

      October 17th, 2006 7:34 pm
      Sales prices are down 6% from the peak.

      Down 6% was back October. By December, just 2 mos. later, YOY prices in most areas were down approx. 10%:

      Greater Phoenix Area (excl. condos), YOY, Nov 06

      The following figures reflect resale market changes in the West Valley from November 2005 to November 2006.

      &bul; Peoria dropped from 315 to 225 sales, while the median price slid from $280,000 to $270,000.

      &bul; Surprise decreased from 350 to 200 sales, with the median price sliding from $263,590 to $246,000.

      &bul; Sun City’s market fell from 130 to 100 sales, with the median price declining to $190,000 from $225,000.

      &bul; Sun City West fell from 60 to 50 sales, and the median price dropped from $242,500 to $220,000.

      &bul; Avondale slid from 190 to 115 sales, with the median price moving from $265,000 to $245,000.

      &bul; El Mirage decreased from 105 to 70 sales, and the median price dropped from $222,500 to $200,000.

      &bul; Goodyear decreased from 100 to 80 sales, with the median price falling from $286,500 to $252,000.

    122. mike January 2nd, 2007 10:33 am

      Judging by the Dec 06 sales data, it seems the “blithering bubbleheads” were right.

      Dec 2002: 5,940
      Dec 2003: 6,357
      Dec 2004: 7,902
      Dec 2005: 6,245
      Dec 2006: 5,480

      Greater Phoenix area sales are now down 8% below 2002 levels.

    123. Arlingtgon Virginia Condos -- Jay March 6th, 2007 8:05 pm

      Greg, I work out the DC metro area. Plenty of bubble bloggers here and their ilk on craigslist rant and rave sections. What is repulsive is their almost deeply rooted desire for homeowners to experience financial hardship.

      Aside from that trend that I’ve found amongst the bubbleheads, I’d say there are some similarities between the DC and Phoenix markets. I believe we are ahead of the curve with some of these real estate trends and will point out what we’ve experienced in the Northern Virginia & DC markets. We peaked at the end of 2005 after several 20%+ appreciation years that were tough to work in due to the insane number of competing offers. Things started slowing down and inventory jumped VERY sharply in 2006. I posted some graphs at my blog on Fairfax County (our equivalent of Maricopa) inventory and after a year it has come back down to where it was at the end of 2005. We corrected for one year anywhere from 5-20% depending on type of property and location. Inventories are largely back to normal. After all that appreciation the reality is that homeowners have come out big winners in the last 5 years. Initial asking prices are MUCH more in line with buyer expectations again. And demand is HIGH.

      The 2006 correction, was to a large degree not due to lack of demand, but buyers taking a “time out” to get some of the seller’s back in line with their pricing. The homes are selling well again here and most are expect some modest appreciation. Of 6 contracts I’ve written this year 4 had competing offers involved and 2 appreciated significantly. Back to equilibrium and a healthy market. All those jobs that got created the last 2 years meant the demand did not decline, it just paused. Those people who did not purchase in 2006 will purchase in 2007. By 2008 with our continued job growth the appreciation will be that much more pronounced & healthy.

      Your correction in Phoenix will not last as long as the bubbleheads are hoping and it will not be as deep or devasting as predicted by them. This will cause them to lose sleep but oh well. When demand job growth is high and population in expanding, corrections have to be short. People need some place to live. I lived in the Valley of the Sun for 22 years…there’s no place like it. No doubt MANY more people will continue moving there to get away from the crappy weather I’ve got here in DC :( Clouds, darkness, etc.

      By the way, if my blog is worthy add me to your homepage blogroll.

      jay