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Updated Mar 12, 2014 - 6:08 am

Real estate expert says buying frenzy underway in Valley

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There may be some changes going on in the Valley's real estate market.

Valley home values and prices have either leveled off or dropped slightly in the past two months. Mortgage and real estate expert Dean Wegner said a rise in interest rates and fear about Obamacare led to the declines.

But now, it appears that things may be back on the way up.

"We have seen a huge uptick in the last two weeks," Wegner said. "It's just been a scurry of people buying houses, so I think the (downward trend of the previous two months) is going to reverse going into the second quarter of 2014."

Wegner said a decline in interest rates two weeks ago and a decline in the unemployment rate has led to the frenzy.

"Open houses are extremely busy right now," said Wegner. "People are looking at houses left and right. I just had one that had five offers in the same day."

Wegner is affiliated with Guaranteed Rate Mortgage and said the company is busy.

"Two contracts yesterday, two contracts today, five contracts last week," he said. "There was a time in December that you would see maybe two contracts in 30 days."

Wegner said that other reasons for the bump may include the nice weather in the Valley. Visitors who are in the state for the winter or for spring training may be falling in love with the Valley and buying a home here.

He also believes that many people who lost a home during the recession are now jumping back into the home buying market.

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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