PHOENIX ( TheStreet ) -- Boosted by tax credits, Phoenix region home sales rose 11 percent in June compared with May, but they fell short of a year ago for the second consecutive month.
The median sale price essentially held steady month to month but rose above the year-ago level for the fourth month in a row as sales of $200,000-plus homes rose and the share of sales that were foreclosed properties fell, a real estate information service reported. Last month a total of 10,430 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow in the combined Maricopa-Pinal counties metropolitan area. That was up 11.2 percent from the month before but down 2.8 percent from a year earlier, according to MDA DataQuick of San Diego, which tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records. Last month's total resales -- existing houses and condos combined -- rose 8.5 percent month-to-month but fell 5.9 percent below a year ago. However, while sales of existing detached houses declined 8.5 percent year over year, resale condos logged a 17.5 percent increase over a year earlier. The number of newly built homes sold in June rose 35.1 percent compared with May and rose 26.9 percent from a year ago. Still, last month's new-home sales were the second-lowest for a June in more than a decade as builders continued to struggle to compete with low-cost distressed sales. Buyers paid a median $139,500 last month for all new and resale houses and condos that closed escrow in the Phoenix metro area, up 0.4 percent from May and up 7.3 percent from $130,000 a year ago. It was the fourth consecutive month in which the median has risen year-over-year. Prior to February, the median had fallen on a year-over-year basis for 36 consecutive months. The June median was still 47.2 percent short of the peak $264,100 median reached in June 2006. Last month's figure was the highest for any month so far this year, but it was 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.