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Valley sees dip in home sales

PHOENIX -- The Valley's housing market is changing and so far, it's not for the better.

A new report from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University revealed that sales of single family homes dropped 17 percent from December 2012 to the same month in 2013.

The news was worse for homes priced under $150,000. Sales of homes in that price range dropped nearly 50 percent during the same time period.

"Buyers are starting to lose enthusiasm," said Michael Orr, director of the ASU Center for Real Estate Theory. "There are not so many bargains out there for investors. Generally speaking, most areas are seeing more sellers than buyers right now."

Orr said that there is speculation that a rise in interest rates is to blame. He also said that young people may be part of the reason.

"It does appear that the millennial generation, those aged 20 to 35, is participating in housing, at least in house purchases, much less than previous generations and is preferring to rent," said Orr.

One bright spot is the luxury home market. There was a 21 percent increase in the sales of homes worth over $500,000 over the same time period.

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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 am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

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: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

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 - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and 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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