Looking for Retirement Real Estate in Phoenix? Digest the Case Shiller Index With a Healthy Dose of Salt

avatarthumbnail.jpgFor those who missed the news earlier in the week, the Phoenix real estate market has the dubious distinction of leading the nation with a 34 percent decline in home prices during the fourth quarter of 2008 according to the Case-Shiller index.

It’s news that is absolutely relevant and largely irrelevant all at the same time, depending on what exactly you happen to be searching for. For instance, check out the median price chart for Scottsdale courtesy of Altos Research:

Prices for SCOTTSDALE

Granted, Scottsdale is but one city inside the larger Phoenix real estate market (and also one of the more expensive cities) … nevertheless, the 34% decline isn’t reflected here.

It’s also not reflected in the Phoenix area’s retirement communities for one simple reason: the primary factor driving down prices in the Phoenix real estate market are the large number of foreclosed properties, properties that by and large can’t be found in large numbers in the Valley’s active adult communities.

When they do appear the difference in sales price compared to the rest of the area can be stark … recently a detached home in Westbrook Village sold for $120,000, well below the current market. But without additional homes in that same situation, such outlying sales don’t always become comparables … the market continues with only a slight hiccup.

Better than reading the Case Shiller and making a decision solely on that basis, take a closer look at the particulars for the area in which you’re looking to buy. That’s the best way to determine whether a blanket assessment of a real estate market larger than a handful of states applies to any specific neck of the woods.

By the way … if you want to watch the bank owned market in any particular subdivision, e-mail me and I’ll get you set up for automated updates. Or you can search all bank owned homes in the Phoenix MLS here.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

About Jonathan

Jonathan Dalton is a 30-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 allphoenixrealestate.com.