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February 2006
Market-Basket of Homes: Values down 1.14%

Home values are down for the second month in a row in the February 2006 Market-Basket of Homes. Average sales prices dropped by 1.14%, just under $3,000, from $263,638 to $260,645.

The weakness was felt mostly at the higher end of the price range. While a few homes sold for discounts from $10,000 to $30,000, compared to list price, many moderately priced homes sold for above list price. Discounting overall averaged -1.42%.

A total of 145 of the homes Bloodhound tracks were sold in February. This is down from February 2005, when 254 homes sold. But it is up from February 2004, when 137 homes were sold. The homes averaged 58 days on market in February 2006, 17 days in February 2005 and 56 days in February 2004.

Said Broker Greg Swann, "While the media never tire of telling us that 2006 is not like 2005, which is obvious, it turns out that 2006 very strongly resembles the beginning of 2004, which was a completely normal real estate market."

In the overall Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, 6,168 properties sold in February of 2004 in an average of 61 days on market with an average of -2.4% discounting. In February of 2006, 5,868 properties sold in an average of 56 days on market with an average of -2.4% discounting.

"The real test," Swann said, "will be March, April and May, the traditional selling season. If those months are healthy, we'll have a great year despite getting off to a slow start."

Based on the idea of the Consumer Price Index market-basket of goods and services, the Market-Basket of Homes uses average sales prices for a small subset of all Valley home sales to get a clearer idea of what is happening in the middle of the bell curve. The alternative method, striking a median among all closed transactions, introduces too many extraneous factors to provide a reliable indicator of what is happening to prices for those homes that are most avidly desired by the greatest number of people. To that end, the Market-Basket of Homes looks at sales prices for MLS-listed suburban homes from 1300sf to 1900sf built in 1998 or later, the homes that drive the resale market.

The Market-Basket of Homes is updated monthly and is always available at

Contact: Greg Swann,, 602-740-7531