Prospective home buyers discouraged by Valley housing market

PHOENIX - It's hard to believe that only a couple of years ago, foreclosed and bank owned signs lined the streets of neighborhoods across the Valley, because today the housing market is seeing the complete opposite.

Charles Cowden and his wife started house hunting in Ahwatukee a couple of weeks ago and are finding the process a challenge.

"It's pretty competitive out there. There are a number of offers in the houses we're interested in already. Some are on the market for 5 or 6 days and they already have 6 or 7 offers on them," Cowden said.

Mike Metz of Sun State Home Loans said the competitiveness is a growing problem for Valley buyers. He foresees the trend continuing for another couple of years.

"It is definitely a seller's market. We have a lot of clients that are pre-approved right now. They can't find a house or they'll go out and put an offer on a house and boom, it sells for over asking price," Metz said.

Back in 2009, the housing market in Arizona was a much different situation.

President Barack Obama paid a visit to the Valley during that time and introduced the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) to help underwater or near-underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages.

Metz said the program has helped homeowners tremendously in the Valley.

"Most of the people refinanced into the high three's or low four's. So they saved a full 2 percent on their interest rate. Well on a $3,000 or $4,000 mortgage that can be $400 to $600 a month in savings for people. It really was a hit," Metz said.

President Obama will be heading back to the Valley on Tuesday, to talk about plans to help homeowners and prospective buyers. He will be speaking at Desert Vista High School at an event that is closed to the public.

 

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