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Phoenix Home Sales at 3-Year High

PHOENIX (DQNews) -- Phoenix region home sales held at a three-year high in March as a broader group of buyers entered the market, resulting in a slightly smaller share of sales to investors. For the second month in a row there were strong signs of price stability, including the first year-over-year increase in the region's overall median sale price in more than three years, a real estate information service reported.

Buyers paid a median $135,000 last month for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the Phoenix metro area, flat compared with February but up 3.9% from $129,000 a year ago, according to MDA DataQuick. The San Diego firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

Last month's year-over-year increase is the first since the Phoenix region's median sale price rose 1.4% in January 2007, to $255,000. Prior to this February, when the median was the same as a year earlier, the median had fallen on a year-over-year basis for 36 consecutive months.

The March median was 48.9% short of the peak $264,100 median reached in June 2006. Last month's figure was also lower than the 12-month high for the median, which was $142,700 last November. The post-housing-boom low for the median was $125,000 in April 2009.

The median paid last month for resale single-family detached houses was also $135,000, up 2.4% from $131,900 in February and up 12.5% from a year earlier. It was the second consecutive month to post a year-over-year gain for the resale house median. However, last month's figure was still 49.6% lower than the $268,000 peak in June 2006.

The median paid for resale condos in March was $94,000, up 2.7% from February but down 14.2% from a year earlier - the smallest annual decline in 19 months. The March resale condo median was 49.6% lower than the $186,500 peak in April 2007.

An alternative price gauge rose for the second consecutive month in March: The median paid per square foot for resale single-family (detached) houses was $75, up from $73 in February and up 15.4% from a year earlier. However, the figure remained 56.1% below the $171 peak in June 2006.

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