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Report: Valley housing market stuck in neutral

PHOENIX -- There's some bad news if you're trying to sell your home. According to a new report from ASU, the Valley housing market is stuck in neutral.

"The market has gone pretty quiet compared with the previous two years," said Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W.P. Carey School of Business.

According to the report, Phoenix-area home prices have been increasing since they hit a low point in September 2011, but have recently slowed.

The median price for a single-family home went up 23 percent from November 2012 to this past November. During the same period, however, sales of single-family homes dropped 27 percent.

The number of completed foreclosures also fell 50 percent, with many homes reverting back to the bank instead of being sold at auction.

Orr said many potential home buyers and investors in Arizona were reluctant to commit, possibly because of the government shutdown and the threat of the U.S. defaulting on its credit.

The number of residential properties being purchased by investors was at 20.2 percent, down from the peak of 39.7 percent in July of 2012.

"If prices are going up then investors are more likely to shop elsewhere," said Orr. "Many of them are not confined to just Phoenix, so they'll go to another area where there's more supply and competition."

In a neutral housing market, Orr said proper marketing is crucial for sellers to be successful. He recommends consulting an experienced realtor who can give advice on what buyers are looking for.

"Many people find it very difficult to see their home through someone else's eyes," he said.

The Phoenix housing market has historically been unpredictable, but Orr said things could pick up again in 2014.

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