Edward Gately, the new real estate reporter for the East Valley Tribune, called me yesterday to discuss the latest Arizona State University – Repeat Sales Index (ASU-RSI) report that was released Tuesday.
Not having read the report, but always willing to chat Phoenix real estate, Edward and I had a nice discussion.
Gately wrote, Sellers struggle as Valley home prices down 21%, published yesterday in the Tribune where he rehashed the ASU-RSI report, with some added thoughts by yours truly.
In a nutshell, the report states that home prices in the Phoenix metro area declined 21% from May 2007 to May 2008 — the 15th straight month of price declines.
ASU reports Phoenix home prices decline 21% YOY
This is, of course, news not many want to hear.
The report author, ASU Real Estate Professor Karl Guntermann, indicates that foreclosure properties are a significant driver of real estate price declines. While this may fall under the “no brainer” category, it is a point many seem to either fail to realize, or want to believe.
The bright side (if you want to call it that) is that the rate of price decline seems to be slowing, though as Guntermann correctly points out, there isn’t enough data out there to say if this is an aberration, or a true trend.
Another point that is often lost (particularly on the mainstream media) is that despite 15 consecutive months of YOY price declines, home prices have not fallen as much as they increased in the boom (and insane) days of 2005 – 2006. To both Guntermann’s and Gately’s credit, this factoid is mentioned in the Tribune article.
As an aside, I was sad to hear from Edward that East Valley Tribune real estate reporter Misty Williams had moved on. I tracked Misty down to Atlanta, where she is now the Industry Focus Editor at the Atlanta Business Chronicle. I’ve always enjoyed talking to Misty as she seemed “fair and balanced” and didn’t mangle quotes like some other MSM reporters I’ve worked with. Edward seems like a really nice guy though, and I look forward to talking to him as well (and for the record, he didn’t mangle a single quote either).