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Valley home prices rising fastest in U.S.

PHOENIX -- Home prices are rising in the Valley faster than anywhere else in the nation, a pricing index showed.

The latest Case-Shiller home price index showed that home prices in the Phoenix area jumped by 22.5 percent in the past year.

Diane Brennan, host of "That Real Estate Show" on KTAR, said that Phoenix home prices were the first to drop during the recession, so it only makes sense that the Valley tops the list now that prices are making a comeback.

In fact, Brennan said some areas of the Valley have home prices that are rising much faster than that 22.5 percent figure.

"It might be 22 percent on average, but we've seen some places jump 100 percent in some of the hardest hit areas," she said, adding that those areas include south Phoenix, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley and other outlying areas.

The prices are rising because the demand for homes is high, while the inventory is low. That causes a problem for realtors like Brennan.

"It's frustrating for realtors and real estate agents in the Valley because we have buyers, but we just don't have any sellers."

Brennan said many people are still hanging on to their homes because they were underwater in their mortgage and they don't realize that prices have risen.

Brennan does not believe in predictions that Phoenix is in a second housing "bubble" that is about to burst.

"I think that ‘other bubble' is a bunch of malarkey," she said. "I think those people who are panicking and calling doomsday again is unfounded."

Brennan said if you're thinking of selling your home or even refinancing your mortgage, now's the time to ask your realtor what your home is worth.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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