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Housing crisis relenting in Phoenix

Marketplace Staff Aug 21, 2009
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Housing crisis relenting in Phoenix

Marketplace Staff Aug 21, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: The National Association of Realtors comes out today
with the latest numbers on existing home sales. One place that is finally seen some housing relief
is Phoenix, Ariz. From KJZZ, Peter O’Dowd reports.


PETER O’DOWD: Median home prices in Phoenix have fallen by half over the past 27 months. It’s been an historic crash, but Arizona State University’s Karl Guntermann says it’s possible that the worst has passed.

KARL GUNTERMAN: The pattern seems to be fairly clear that this plunge in prices we have seen is easing somewhat.

Guntermann says Phoenix home prices hit bottom in April, and then slowly climbed to a median price of $119,00 in July. Here’s another encouraging sign: recent home sales have reached a pace not seen since the real estate heyday of 2005.

But Economist Marshall Vest is still cautious about the future of Arizona’s economy. In good times, he says 20 percent of employment in Arizona is related to construction, mortgage lending and other growth industries.

MARSHALL VEST: I think we will continue to be subjected to the ups and downs of the building cycle. That’s the way it’s been for decades, and that’s the way it will be in the future.

But even if this housing rebound continues, Vest predicts Arizona’s economy will continue to contract through the end of the year.

In Phoenix, I’m Peter O’Dowd for Marketplace.

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