Mesa’s citrus sub-area

This 6,575-square-foot single-story house on N. Val Vista Drive in Mesa recently sold for $1.83 million cash. Built in 1989, the five-bedroom, five-bath home sits on 4.6 acres in Mesa’s citrus sub-area. 

Phoenix continues to lead the nation in year-over-year home price increases, according to a national tracker of housing and other economic data.

Meanwhile, the Valley’s leading analyst of the Phoenix Metro housing market last week provided data indicating the larger role investors are playing in the regional housing market.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index looked at data for July and said Phoenix led the pack with a 32.4 percent year-over-year increase in home prices in July, with San Diego (27.8 percent) and Seattle (25.5 percent) coming in second and third, respectively.

Overall, the National Composite Index marked its 14th consecutive month of accelerating prices with a record 19.7 percent, the report said.

That’s had an impact on mortgage rates, which the Mortgage Bankers Association of America said “rose across all loan types” in response.

“With home-price appreciation continuing to run hot, increasing more than 19 percent annually in July, applications for larger loan amounts continue to outpace lower-balance loans,” said Joel Kan, an association economist.

Meanwhile, Cromford Report, which follows housing trends in Maricopa and Pinal counties, said that Phoenix led the nation with the largest percentage the increase in home prices from August to September.

The 3.32 percent August-September increase in Phoenix easily beat those in the next two cities – Tampa (2.94 percent) and Las Vegas (2.77 percent).

Cromford also reported that the

Phoenix market last month tipped in favor of sellers, though it ranked well behind the top three sellers markets – Fountain Hills, Avondale and Cave Creek, respectively.

Cromford also shed additional light on the role investors are playing in the regional housing market.

Looking exclusively at iBuyer sales, Cromford reported that purchases by institutions or large companies in the region comprised 26 percent of sales so far this year as opposed to only 10-11 percent in each of the past three years.

And this year, iBuyer sales by companies and institutions have steadily risen the first three quarters, going from 19 percent of all iBuyer sales in the first quarter to 27 percent in the second and trending upward again to 31 percent in the third quarter.

Noting that “iBuyers selling homes to investors is not a new thing” and that “it has been happening for many years,” Cromford said: “However, just as investors are buying more homes in general, they are also buying more homes from iBuyers. iBuyers have been recruiting specialized staff to focus on serving their investor customers.”

But it also said, “Demand is improving but a lot of this is coming from investors and iBuyers so could die away quickly.

“Demand from ordinary home-buyers is subdued, no matter what the media might be telling you,” it added. “If the iBuyers stop their spending spree then demand could fall quickly.” 

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