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Metro Phoenix luxury home sales on the rise

The number of metro Phoenix luxury houses for sale is on the rise, something real estate analysts say is a good sign for the market because fewer of the houses are foreclosures or short-sale listings.

At the beginning of April, there were 2,267 houses listed at $500,000 or more on the market, a 3 percent increase from March, according to the latest report from a local real estate firm and Arizona State University housing analyst Mike Orr.

Of the upscale houses for sale, 90 were short sales. That compares with 182 short sales offered on houses priced above $500,000 in April 2012. Only 13 of the homes were lender-owned. Last year, 47 luxury houses were lender-owned.

There are 462 houses for sale in Phoenix area priced above $2 million, compared with 444 last year. There is only one lender-owned house priced above $2 million.

Luxury-home sales are up from last year. During March 305 houses priced above $500,000 sold, compared with 266 last March.

During the crash, there was such an oversupply of high-end homes across metro Phoenix for sale or in foreclosures, housing analysts were concerned it was would take a decade for the luxury market to recover.

The data shows the priciest segment of the Valley’s housing market is recovering faster than expected but not nearly as fast as the affordable end of the market.

Permits rise

Another sign the home building market is recovering: Single-family permits in metro Phoenix are up 27 percent through March compared with the same period last year.

According to RL Brown Reports, 1,258 housing permits were issued in March, one of the highest monthly tallies in several years. For the first three months of this year, 3,169 permits have been issued to build new houses.

Gehan enters market

Enticed by Phoenix’s homebuilding recovery, another company has entered the market. Dallas-based Gehan Homes plans to start building in four communities, starting at Hacienda at Greer Ranch in Surprise.

“Our opening at Greer Ranch is a vote of confidence in the Phoenix market, which has clearly rebounded and where we see positive signs for the longer-term health of the housing market,” said Tim Gehan, CEO of the homebuilder.

The company plans to begin building houses at Peoria’s Vistancia, Palm Valley in Goodyear and Bridges of Gilbert by the end of 2013.

By Catherine ReagorThe Republic | azcentral.comFri Apr 19, 2013 11:17 AM

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