Arizona’s housing market, one of the nation’s four worst hit by the foreclosure crisis, is seeing constant improvements in housing prices, employment and overall recovery compared to 2012.
“In contrast to many other hard hit states, conditions in Arizona are improving, and quickly,” said AAF’s housing policy analyst, Andrew Winker. AFF data show the state’s efforts to diversify the economy are paying off resulting in rising employment, which has been the main driver of the housing recovery and is helping improve delinquency rates and clear distressed property inventories across the state.
The inventory of distressed homes has decreased from 4.8 months a year ago to 2.9 months in 2013, while foreclosures take 255 days compared to the national average 526.
In addition, housing prices have increased 34% “since hitting bottom in Phoenix” where the average home is worth 59% of its peak value.
Improvements do not come through federal aid, he said “but through a diversified economy with growing employment and the speedy clearing of distressed properties.”
AAF attributes these improvements to the job market and the annual decrease in unemployment rates in 8 of the state’s 15 counties, which together report the addition of 84,800 jobs since the end of the recession, including 21,000 jobs in 2013.
A number of factors combined is leading to steady improvements, Winker said, for instance “the expeditious clearing of excess inventory has paved the way for increasing prices, helping underwater borrowers rebuild equity in their homes.” As a result, Arizona’s housing market recovery, especially in metro Phoenix, is much more significant “than most other similarly situated parts of the country.”