ASU Realty Studies Figures Still Struggle With Foreclosures

avatarthumbnail.jpgJust under a year ago, Arizona State University’s Realty Studies program found an issue with its Phoenix real estate resale numbers. Included in the figures were foreclosure related “non-sales” where a property went to a trustee’s sale, wasn’t purchased and reverted back to the bank. These transactions appear as “sales” in the tax records for the amount of the mortgage even though no sale had taken place.

Fast forward to today, and it appears that these same sales still are vexing the program’s monthly report even as they’ve presuambly been segregated into their own category.

Take the December report as an example. And look at El Mirage (which, given the figures involved was the easiest to check.)

ASU reports 170 total sales – 90 “traditional” and 80 “foreclosures.” The Arizona Regional MLS is showing 79 closed single-family detached sales in the month of December. The tax records show 155 closed “sales” not including refinances (usually appearing as a sale for zero dollars.)

Of those closed “sales” 69 were homes “purchased” by the ban, which aren’t sales at all.

So as Tobey sees it, before he receiving his morning Beneful, ASU is reporting non-sales as “foreclosed sales.” Which wouldn’t be a problem except these numbers are being added back into the total for each city and are part of the calculation for the city’s median price.

That there’s something odd is apparent at the first glance at the chart at the bottom of the page. In Goodyear, in Peoria, in El Mirage, in Avondale … heck, for Maricopa County as a whole, the median price for the”foreclosed” sales is higher than for the traditional sales. Which makes sense in as much as the mortgage amounts on these foreclosed properties generally are on the higher end. But the question is, why are non-sales such as these being used in calculations of the market’s overall median price?

When someone can get a solid handle on what’s actually happening, please let me know.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • David Bushman 9 years ago

    Given what you explained, has there been contact with ASU’s Realty studies about what you are still noticing for December?

  • Jonathan Dalton 9 years ago

    Not at this time, David … time’s the main issue.

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